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Tencent Holdings buys majority stake in fantasy sport platform Dream11: Report

Chinese Internet conglomerate Tencent has reportedly bought a majority stake in Mumbai-based fantasy gaming startup Dream11 Fantasy, reports CNBC-TV18. According to the report, Tencent values the Indian start up at around $750 million. In an interview to the channel, the company’s founder and CEO, Harsh Jain, confirmed securing fresh funds from the Chinese firm. However, he declined to disclose the details of the transaction. CNBC-TV18 claims that post the deal, Jain’s stake in the company will reduce to around 35%.

Other reports suggested that Dream11 raised a little over $100 million in a Series D funding round led by Tencent. According to the report by VCcircle, a Dream11 spokesperson also confirmed that Tencent and existing investors participated in the Series D round, but declined to comment on the financial details. Dream11 previously raised an undisclosed amount from Kalaari Capital in 2015 and from multiple PE in December 2017. Think Investments and Multiples Equity are also listed as its partners, according to the company’s website.

MediaNama reached out to Tencent Holdings and Dream11 for a comment on the deal; the story will be updated in case of a reply.

On Dream11

Founded in 2012 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream11 allows users to create virtual teams comprising real-life players and lets them organise matches based on statistical performances of those players in real games. The platform offers fantasy cricket, football, kabaddi and basketball, and is the official partner of the Hero Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament, the NBA and Indian Super League. It claims to have more than four crore users on its platform and aims to grow to 100 million users by 2019.

Tencent’s investments in India

On the other hand, for Tencent, this is in line with the company’s plans to invest up to US$200 million in gaming ventures in India in this year. The report also claims that the company’s gaming division, Tencent Gaming is the largest gaming company in the world. As far as its India investments are concerned, Tencent led a $115-million investment in music streaming service Gaana in February. Prior to that, it led in funding Flipkart and Ola. Tencent also owns stakes in messaging application Hike, healthcare startup Practo and education technology firm Byju’s. So far, it has invested $1.3 billion in India.

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