In April, cricket-focused NFT NFT Non-fungible Tokens A non-fungible token is a financial security, consisting of digital data stored in a blockchain, a form of a distributed ledger. platform Rario caused a flutter when it raised US$120 million. The Series A funding round was led by Dream Capital, the venture-capital arm of the US$8 billion-valued Dream Sports, one of India’s biggest and most successful gaming companies.
This was significant for a number of reasons. For one, it was the biggest cheque written by Dream Capital since it got off the blocks with a corpus of US$250 million in August August Economic Times Dream Sports sets up $250 million corporate venture fund Read more last year. It was also Dream Capital’s first investment in a Web3 Web3 Web3 Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web, based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralization and token-based economics. company, with the potential to build something like Sorare Sorare Sorare Sorare is a fantasy football game that uses blockchain technology. , according to multiple gaming industry executives. The investment closely tailed Rario’s official licensing deal deal Economic Times Rario to bring NFTs of Australian cricket Read more with the Australian cricket board, which may have piqued Dream Capital’s interest.
Since being set up, Dream Capital has made a slew of investments in diverse startups across the sports industry, from fitness marketplace Fittr to sporting apparel maker Elevar. The aim is to build “an ecosystem for the sports fan,” said Dev Bajaj, Dream Sports’ chief strategy officer, who also leads Dream Capital. If anything, the Rario deal was a signal that Dream Capital is now in acceleration mode.
Dream Sports has a clear mandate for Dream Capital: invest anywhere between US$1 million-100 million in sports and gaming adjacent industries. The objective is for the investments to lead to acquisitions down the line, and turn Dream Sports into a sporting conglomerate.
Of course, this is a well-trodden path in the tech world. Many large companies like Google, Intel, and Salesforce run gigantic corporate venture capital funds. Even in the Indian gaming space, early investments and eventual acquisitions were pioneered by Nazara Technologies, which went public last year and has a market capitalisation of Rs 3,900 crore (~US$500 million).