GMR Sports planning to acquire stake in gaming startup Fantasy Akhada

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Fantasy gaming firm Fantasy Akhada is planning to sell a large stake to GMR Sports, a GMR Group company, for $160-175 million (Rs 1,300-1,400 crore) as per a report in Livemint.

According to four individuals who are aware of the matter, the deal will probably happen in phases, with GMR likely to supplement later rounds by acquiring some early investors.

Some of the gaming company’s early backers, angel investors, and other investors will depart through this sale. One of the aforementioned persons said, “It is a mix of primary and a small secondary share sale, and some early investors are likely to sell. In subsequent rounds, the valuation will be doubled.”

As per Tracxn, Fantasy Akhada has so far raised $15 million and is supported by investors such as Prime Securities Team India Managers Ltd. Angel investors control 35.48% of the company, while the founders possess 44.41% stake.

“The company is looking at realigning its cap table with longer-term investors being brought on board as gaming in India is expected to see manifold growth in the coming years,” said another person.

In a mail sent by Livemint to Fantasy Akhada inquiring about the deal, a spokesperson replied that the details were not accurate. GMR Sports has not replied to them on the topic yet.

The fantasy sports platform was established in 2020 by Amit Purohit, Amit Bhardwaj, Pratik Gosar, Ankit Upreti, Sahil Ahuja and Sumit Jha. In addition to cricket, the platform provides customers with fantasy gaming options for a variety of sports, including football and kabaddi.

GMR Sports was incorporated in 2008 and currently manages the IPL franchise from New Delhi along with JSW Group, the Uttar Pradesh franchise of the Pro Kabaddi league UP Yoddhas, and sports entities in the Middle East which includes the Dubai Capitals franchise in the newly launched ILT20. Fantasy gaming is a logical extension of GMR Sports’ ambitions in the sports industry.

According to a survey by Marketdecipher, India is the largest fantasy sports market in the world with over 130 million users and was valued at Rs 34,600 crore in 2021. Between 2022 and 2032, yearly growth is predicted to be 32%.

While the market size was Rs 920 crore in 2019, the gross income earned by the fantasy sports industry in FY20 was Rs 2,470 crore which indicates that during the COVID-19 lockout, the market size tripled.