Rario, a platform for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in cricket, has secured $120 million in investment headed by Dream Capital, Dream Sports’ corporate venture and M&A arm, with participation from Alpha Wave Global.
Animoca Brands, Presight Capital, and Kingsway Capital are among the startup’s investors. This is the Dream11 parent’s first foray into the Web3 area, as well as its largest investment to date.
Dream Sports CEO Harsh Jain stated at a January 2022 industry gathering that the company was looking into entering the embryonic blockchain and NFT business.
Rario, based in Singapore and founded by IIT Delhi alumni Ankit Wadhwa and Sunny Bhanot in 2021, recently signed one of the world’s largest cricket NFT deals, a multi-year exclusive partnership with Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association to create an Australian cricket metaverse of collectables and gaming.
Indian sports fans may use Rario to purchase, sell, and trade NFTs using fiat-only methods such as credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers. Rario has sold over 50,000 NFTs to sports fans in 20 countries since 2021, with the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India being its top four markets.
“Cricket is the 2nd largest sport in the world with more than 1.5 billion fans globally. NFTs are creating new forms of engagement allowing fans to own and trade digital collectables. Rario’s global cricket NFT ecosystem will be further strengthened by the 140 million sports fans on Dream Sports,” said Ankit Wadhwa.
Apart from the flagship fantasy platform, Dream11 has diversified under a new structure known as Dream Sports, which includes brands such as sports content and commerce platform FanCode, corporate venture and M&A arm Dream Capital, sports experiences platform DreamSetGo, game publisher Dream Game Studios, and payment solutions provider DreamPay.
Dream Sports set aside $250 million for Dream Capital in August 2021, with a particular focus on sports, gaming, and fitness-tech. Fittr, SoStronk, KheloMore, and Elevar are among the nine early-stage firms in the unit’s portfolio, which ranges from $1 million to $100 million.
After reaching a massive $840 million fundraising round in November 2021, Dream Sports is now valued at $8 billion.