Dream11, a gaming platform, has won the title sponsorship rights for IPL 2020 for ₹222 crore outbidding three potential sponsors, Tata Sons and education technology platforms (Byju's and Unacademy) to clinch the deal.
Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain (CEO) and Bhavit Sheth (COO), Mumbai-based startup Dream11 reportedly has over 80 million users and is the first gaming startup from India to reach the unicorn status.
"The IPL deal will help Dream11 with its plans to expand its business beyond fantasy sports on the back of the huge and highly engaged user base that the startup has built," LiveMint quoted a person associated with the deal.
After chinese manufacturer, Vivo, pulled out from being the title sponsor amid growing anti-Chinese sentiments in India, the IPL had been on the look-out for a new title sponsor.
Dream11 beat bids from educational platforms Byju's (₹201 crore) and Unacademy (₹170 crore) to win the IPL's sponsorship rights for roughly four-and-a-half months, from August 18 to December 31, 2020.
The tournament which was originally scheduled to be played in India in March-May had to be postponed due to the on-going pandemic and will be played in three UAE cities between September 19 and November 10.
Interestingly, Dream11 has Chinese stakeholding too. Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent reportedly bought a majority stake in Dream11. However, currently, Tencent's stake in Dream11 is less than 10%.
A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official confirmed this. "Only a single-digit percentage minority stake is held by Tencent," the official said.