April 9, 2019 / 3:54 PM / 5 months ago

Online gaming firm Dream11 enters India's 'unicorn' club

(Reuters) - Dream11 on Tuesday became India’s first gaming startup to be valued at over $1 billion after its latest round of investment, joining the country’s fast-growing “unicorn” club.

The gaming platform, which has a 90 percent market share in the Indian fantasy sports market according to a IFSG-KPMG report, allows users to create teams for different sports.

The company on Tuesday announced the completion of a secondary investment by hedge fund Steadview Capital to cross the billion mark.

Dream11 declined to disclose the terms of the deal.

The deal involves a secondary sale of shares by investors Kalaari Capital, Think Investments and Multiples Equity to Asia-focused Steadview.

The gaming platform, which expects to end the year with 100 million users, also counts Tencent Holdings Ltd as one of its backers.

Dream11 has partnerships with sports bodies and leagues such as the International Cricket Council and the National Basketball Association among others.

Users pay an entry fee to participate in paid contests and the company makes money by charging a platform fee from the total pool collected.

Dream11 has however faced legal challenges due to the similarities of fantasy gaming to gambling, which is largely illegal in India.

Its legitimacy was challenged in a court in India, which ruled that fantasy gaming involves skill rather than chance, according to a report in April last year. (bit.ly/2qd8qYZ)

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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