Dream11 is having a bit of a dream run up the list of India’s most valuable startups.
Dream11 is now India’s third-highest valued startup after raising $840 million in a fresh funding round. The round, which is amongst the largest ever for an Indian startup, was led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, Tiger Global and Redbird Capital. The round values Dream11 at $8 billion, making it the third most valuable startup in India.
Byju’s continues to be India’s most valuable startup, and is currently valued at $21 billion. Paytm had last been privately valued at $16 billion, but now moves off the list after becoming a publicly traded company. Byju’s is followed by Oyo Rooms, which was last valued at $9.6 billion. Dream11, after its latest funding round, comes in third with a valuation of $8 billion. Dream11 is now worth more than much earlier entrants to the unicorn club including Ola, which is worth $6.3 billion, Swiggy which is worth $5.5 billion, and Inmobi which is worth $1 billion.
Dream11’s rise up the top of the list of India’s most valuable startups has been rapid. The company first became a unicorn in April 2019, when it was valued between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. By September 2020, it had more than doubled its valuation, raising funds at a valuation of $2.5 billion. As the pandemic had just struck, Dream11 raised another round in March 2021 which valued it at $5 billion, and again doubled its valuation. And now in November, Dream11 has raised funds at a valuation of $8 billion, increasing its valuation by 60 percent in two quarters.
“We are now doing sports commerce, data analytics, merchandise, investing in sports startups and then there are platforms like Fancode which have substantially scaled up for us,” said Dream11 cofounder Harsh Jain after the latest fundraise. “We see a massive opportunity in going deep beyond cricket into sports like kabaddi, and that is what we are aiming to do with this funding,” he added.
What’s possibly enthusing investors about Dream11 is that unlike most Indian tech startups, it is profitable. Dream11 had registered profits of Rs. 180 crore in FY20, and its revenue had grown by 2.5x over the previous year. While investors might salivate over profitable companies that are growing rapidly, Dream11 says it has no immediate plans of going public. “We are not going to go public because the market is hot, we will do so when we think we are solving a problem. For the next year or so, it is not in our plans,” said Harsh Jain.
But while Dream11 appears to have everything going for it, there could be trouble on the horizon. Karnataka had recently passed a law which deemed that fantasy games like Dream11 fell under the purview of gambling, and banned its services in the state. After Dream11 had failed to comply with the order in time, the Karnataka Police had even registered an FIR against Dream11’s founders. But the latest round would indicate that investors believe that it’s unlikely that other states will replicate Karnataka’s diktat. And with Dream11 growing, and profitably and that, the company’s rise towards the top of the list of India’s biggest startups might just be getting started.