Centre Court Capital Announces Maiden Rs 350-Crore Fund For Sports, Gaming

Centre Court Capital Announces Maiden Rs 350-Crore Fund For Sports, Gaming
With 396 million gamers, India has the second largest users of gamers in the world and the gaming sector is poised to grow at a 5-year CAGR of 21 per cent.

With 396 million gamers, India has the second largest users of gamers in the world and the gaming sector is poised to grow at a 5-year CAGR of 21 per cent.

The first-of-its-kind, sector-focused VC fund has already raised Rs 200 crore in commitments from eminent investors and top athletes

Centre Court Capital on Thursday announced the launch of a Rs 350-crore fund for India’s sports and gaming landscape. The fund, founded by JSW Sports former CEO Mustafa Ghouse and Alok Samtaney who was a former investment director with TVS Capital and Sabre Partners, has the Sajjan Jindal Family Trust as anchor investor, with Parth Jindal at the helm.

“The first-of-its-kind, sector-focused VC fund has already raised Rs 200 crore in commitments from eminent investors and top athletes,” according to a statement.

It said the fund will back founders bringing innovative tech and pushing the boundaries of the sports and gaming ecosystem.

“Joining the Jindal family – who have played a big role in shaping India’s sporting ecosystem over the last decade – are the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), PremjiInvest, USK Capital, and other large corporate sports investors in the country such as GMR Sports, and SG Sports,” the statement said.

Other notable figures from the world of sports and media have also joined.

Mustafa Ghouse, founder and general partner of Centre Court Capital, said, “We are seeing an acceleration in the number of startups that are building from India for India and the world. Adding to that, with 396 million gamers, we are the second largest population of gamers in the world and the gaming sector is poised to grow at a 5-year CAGR of 21 per cent. We firmly believe in the potential of the space, and are focussed on backing exceptional founders who believe they are now ready to compete with the best in class, globally.”

Ghouse, also a former Asian Games Bronze medalist and member of the Indian Davis Cup team, brings with him the operating experience of having put together Inspire Institute of Sport, India’s premier Olympic training facility, aside from leading the acquisition and heading teams across the IPL, ISL, and PKL, according to the statement.

Alok, meanwhile, brings deep experience across the fund lifecycle having spent over 15 years between TVS Capital Funds and Sabre Partners.

Parth Jindal, MD of JSW Cement and JSW Paints, and founder of JSW Sports, said, “Over the last decade, we have backed, invested and developed sports in India in a big way, and our commitment stems from our belief in the potential of sports in India. We’ve also been tracking the growth of the eSports and gaming sectors and we’re excited to see the champions from India emerge. We are proud to be early backers of Centre Court Capital’s pioneering fund, which will further drive growth and innovation in what is an ever-evolving sector.”

Centre Court Capital is a SEBI-registered Category-II AIF, and is soon launching an offshore feeder fund in GIFT City, to raise capital from international investors. The fund has already completed its first two investments in the sports tech space. It will look to focus on early-stage opportunities, earmarking Rs 8 to Rs 24 crore, while reserving 40-50 per cent of the fund for follow-on investments.

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