Mobile Premier League (MPL) said it has raised $90 million (~ ₹661 crore) in a Series-C funding round by SIG and RTP Global, along with MDI Ventures and Pegasus Tech Ventures. With the latest investment, MPL’s total funding amounts to $130.5 million, the company said. Existing investors Sequoia India, Go-Ventures and Base Partners also participated in the round.
The company, which was founded barely two years ago, offers 70 games on its platform, including fantasy cricket. It has admittedly had a good time during the nationwide lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Over the past four months, the number of games played on MPL’s most popular titles has increased by more than 700%,” it said in a statement.
MPL is not available on Google’s Play Store since it offers fantasy gaming, which Google views as gambling. Users of Android phones can download MPL’s app on their website, which they have to install themselves. MPL’s app, meanwhile, continues to be available on Apple’s App Store.
Abhishek Madhavan, SVP of Marketing at MPL, while commenting on news about MPL’s fund raising efforts, said that the company has more than 60 million users outside the Play Store. He also claimed that between February and now, the platform has grown “4x across all key metrics”.
Over the past 18 months, we have crossed over 60M users all outside of the Playstore and Kantar tells us that brand awareness levels of @playMPL are almost on par with PUBG across the entire country! This would be equivalent to hitting ~100M users on the Playstore, in 18 mos!
— Abhishek Madhavan (@AbhishekMadhavn) September 21, 2020
MPL currently sponsors to two Indian Premier League (IPL) teams — Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, along with TV show Big Boss.
Related: Last week, Google removed one of the most popular apps in the country, Paytm from its Play Store for violating its gambling policies. Along with Paytm, its Paytm fantasy sports app Paytm First Games was also pulled from the store. It was restored
Google had said that it removes apps that offer unregulated gambling apps and facilitate sports betting. Apps that leads customers to an external “real money” gaming website are also prohibited, along with real money games, fantasy games, and gambling apps are also prohibited, it said. Paytm was restored to the Play Store the same day, however Paytm First Games remains absent.