Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Dream11.

Fantasy sport is what most young sports lovers today are crazy about. With fantasy sport, sports lovers need not just enjoy a game by being a spectator, but can also create an imaginary team (of real players) of his own choice and earn rewards when his imaginary team performs well. All thanks to the mobile and internet revolution, the fantasy gaming industry is booming in India too. With a motivated will to explore this sector, Dream11 was founded back in 2008 by two young and talented co-founders Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth.

A pioneer in the fantasy gaming segment, Dream11 is the first Indian gaming company to enter the unicorn club. Let's have a look at the journey of this Mumbai based startup that has been recognized as one of the top 10 innovative companies in India. Know Dream11 Success Story, How it started, Business Model, Owner, Funding, history and more here with StartupTalky.

Dream11 - Company Highlights

Startup Name Dream11
Headquarters Mumbai
Founders Harsh Jain & Bhavit Sheth
Industry Fantasy Gaming
Founded Year 2008
Revenue $281.18 million (Rs 2070.4 crores) in FY20
Parent Organization/Owner Dream Sports
Website dream11.com

Dream11 - Latest News
Dream11 - About
Dream11 - Founders and Team
Dream11 - Parent Company - Dream Sports
Dream11 - History and How it Started?
Dream11 - Target Market
Dream11 - Business Model and How it Works?
Dream11 - Revenue Model
Dream11 - Startup Challenges
Dream11 - Funding and Investors
Dream11 - Growth and Revenue
Dream11 - Partnerships
Dream11 - Competitors
Dream11 - Awards & Recognitions
Dream11 - FAQs

Dream11 Story from Harsh Jain(Co-Founder, Dream11)

Dream11 - Latest News

4th September 2021 - The parent company of Dream11, Sporta Technologies is looking to raise around $12.5 million (around INR 90 crores) in a fresh upcoming round. Β  Β 

31st August 2021 - Dream11 is looking to raise around $400 million in an upcoming round led by the old investors and some new one. This round is expected to boost Dream11's valuation to $8.5 billion.

24th March 2021 - TCV, D1 Capital Partners, and Falcon Edge led a $400 million secondary investment round in Dream Sports, the parent company of online fantasy sports platform Dream11.

5th March 2021 - Dream Sports (Parent Company of Dream11) will not raise any new money from Chinese investors in the future, according to its founder and CEO Harsh Jain. Dream Sports is currently conducting a secondary sale of stock that will value the online fantasy sports platform at $4 billion.


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Dream11 - About

Dream11 is an application that allows its users to create imaginary teams. The catch here is that the users can earn cash based on actual match performance of the selected players on their teams. Each good move of the players earns cash rewards to the users. Moreover, Dream11 provides its users to play games in categories like cricket, football, kabaddi, and National Basketball Association.

Dream11 is one of India's Biggest Sports Gaming platforms and has successfully registered 100 million users in 2020, which was only 2 million in 2016. It is a great platform for all the sports lovers of the country, which helps them showcase their knowledge of sports along with letting them compete with their fellow friends and fans.


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Dream11 - Founders and Team

Dream11 was founded by two young and aspiring entrepreneurs and sports lovers, Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008.

Dream11 Founders
Dream11 Founders

Harsh Jain (Co-founder and CEO, Dream11)

Dream11 CEO Harsh Jain, is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA from Columbia Business School. Before Dream11, he launched and successfully led the acquisition of Red Digital (a social media agency) by Gozoop. His vision with Dream11 is to entertain the sports fans with some real-time modules.

Bhavit Sheth (Co-founder and COO, Dream11)

Dream11 COO Bhavit Sheth is an Engineer with an MBA from Bentley University (Boston) and a Diploma in E-commerce strategies from Harvard. Bhavit co-founded Dream11 with Harsh in 2008. As COO, his prime focus is on providing the best, trusted, and user-focused experience via operational excellence throughout the company's processes.

Dream11 - Parent Company - Dream Sports

Dream11 - Parent Company - DreamSports
Dream11 - Parent Company - DreamSports

Dream Sports is a sports technology company whose portfolio includes brands including Dream11, FanCode, DreamX, DreamSetGo, and Dream Pay. Dream Sports is putting the vision of β€˜Make Sports Better' into action by offering a variety of ways for fans to connect deeply with the sports they love, including fantasy sports, material, commerce, experiences, and events.

Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth founded the company in 2008, and it was ranked #10 among India's Great Mid-Size Workplaces in 2019. It was also named one of Fast Company's top 10 innovative companies in India in 2019. Dream Sports' major investors include Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity, Tencent, and Steadview Capital.

Dream11 - History and How it Started?

Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, childhood sports enthusiasts, co-founded Dream11, the most well-known fantasy sports application. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was the catalyst for the new fantasy sports industry to emerge. In a country with billions of cricket fans, Harsh and Bhavit created the company with the belief that sports fantasy leagues would become a profitable service opportunity.

Harsh finished his studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Business School and returned to India to solve a fantasy game problem. He invited others to join him in finding a faster solution to the problem. Many laughed at him, but Harsh's college classmate Bhavit Sheth decided to join him for a larger party.

In 2012, the company launched its first freemium service, and from there, the real journey began. They also sought out other investors and invited them to join their venture.


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Dream11 - Target Market

The online gaming sector in India has undergone a tremendous change in the last few years. The online gaming market of India is estimated by KPMG to grow at a CAGR of 21% between FY21 and FY25, which will help the gaming industry achieve a size of Rs 29,000 crores, as per June 2021.

A report by Flurry Analytics said, "India currently ranks among the top five countries in the world for online and mobile gaming."

The fantasy sports segment of the gaming industry of India boasts of having more than 100 million customers alone, which is expected to add another 50 million in the next one and a half years at most. Dream11, with a revenue of 801.7 Cr ($112.4 Mn) in FY19, led the industry though it failed to achieve much profitability due to the increasing spends on advertising.

Dream11 - Business Model and How it Works?

Dream11 does not monetize their company through Google ads or other ad agencies. They merely make a profit by hosting fantasy games on their website. Initially, they tried Google AdSense, but they have since stopped doing so in order to provide their users with a simple and fast user experience. Do you know that only 10% of Dream11 players participate in paying contests?

This is significant because converting a free user to a paying user is difficult and expensive. Dream11 was the first app in India to launch a private fantasy gaming app. It supports all three types of gaming methods (that is freemium, premium and private) for fantasy sports players to earn money.

They charge a fee of more than 20% of the total amount earned in a grand or small league. Any contest you enter has a set commission. Other websites, such as Halaplay or MyTeam11, have very low commissions. They don't even charge for private competitions. But why do people continue to choose Dream11? When you're playing with mates or teams, having the freedom to make your own customized contest (for example- you can form your own cricket teams) is ideal. Even then, you must pay dream11 a minimum of 20% in fees. So they're making money while you're having fun with your game.

Dream11 - Revenue Model

The revenue model of Dream11 primarily works on two levels.

  • Entry-level fees from the participants to participate in the paid contests.
  • When the users earn on their real-time performance of the players, Dream 11 takes its cut which accounts for about 15-20% of the total pool.

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Dream11 - Startup Challenges

Being India's number one online gaming platform did not come without hurdles. First of them was the legal challenges, particularly because of its similarity to gambling, which is largely illegal in India. This made the company go through court allegations but the judiciary ruled that fantasy gaming is a game of skills rather than chances or probabilities. The industry, though growing at an ever-increasing speed, is at a self-regulatory phase.

It didn't have a lot of money at first. Dream11 began its fantasy sports business with only a few thousand dollars, but it quickly expanded and required a series of angel investor investments. The amount of money needed to run the company was extremely high. But, thanks to their negotiating abilities, they were able to find some decent investment opportunities and are almost done.

Few challenges it found were:

  • Getting through legal obstacles
  • Locating a business market
  • Marketing the company
  • Fixing the office location
  • Planning and implementing the appropriate technologies

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Dream11 - Funding and Investors

Dream11 has raised 8 rounds of funding till date to mop up $785 million, as per July 30, 2021. The company joined the Indian unicorn club in April 2019 with an investment from Steadview Capital. Dream11 is backed by huge firms like Kalaari Capital, Chinese internet giant Tencent, Think Investments and Multiples Equity.

Dream11 funding and investors details are as follows-

Date Stage Amount Investors
Mar 24, 2021 Secondary Market $400M D1 Capital Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, TCV
Sep 13, 2020 Private Equity Round $225M Chrys Capital, Footpath Ventures, Tiger Global Management, TPG
April 9, 2020 Secondary Market $60 Million Steadview Capital
September 6, 2018 Series D $100 Million Tencent Holdings
January 17, 2017 Series C Undisclosed Undisclosed
December 4, 2015 Series B Undisclosed Undisclosed
January 5, 2015 Series A Undisclosed Undisclosed
December 24, 2014 Series A Undisclosed Undisclosed

Sporta Technologies, the parent company of Dream11 is eyeing for a fresh investment round to raise around $12.5 million (around Rs 90 crores), according to the reports dated September 4, 2021. Dream11's parent has filed to allot a total of 2,933 equity shares at a premium of Rs 3,09,313 each per equity share for Rs 90,72,44,359 to Antordaya Commercial and Holdings Private Limited.


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Dream11 - Growth and Revenue

Dream11 has raised $400 million in its recent fundraising round of March 24, 2021, which shot the total valuation of the company to $5 billion. The company has almost doubled its valuation within just 6 months, according to March reports.

The company reported around 75 million users before the pandemic broke out. The pandemic struck Dream11 hard, which resulted in canceled matches and dropping revenues. However, situations bettered since July 2020, and the revenues started coming again. The company registered 100 million users in 2020.

Though the company has witnessed quite a growth post-Covid, it is still 80% of the growth it showed before the pandemic, as reported on March 2021.

  • Joined the Indian Unicorn club in 2019
  • Caters to 100 Million users.
  • Dream11 claims to have grown at a CAGR of 230% in the last three years.
  • Though it took three years to hit 1 million users. Post that it crossed the 3 million mark in less than 2 months.

The company is further expected to raise around $400 million at a valuation of $8.5 billion in the upcoming months from a bunch of both new and old investors.

Dream11 has successfully crossed the 2000 crore mark in terms of revenue from operations, the revenues of which were $105.37 mn (Rs 775.5 crores) in FY19, which rose by 2.67X to $281.26 mn (Rs 2070.4 crores) in FY20. Dream11 is one of the rare unicorns that has filed a massive profit among all others in the consumer internet space in India. The Sporta Technologies-led Indian fantasy gaming platform, Dream11 has witnessed $24.56 mn (Rs 180.8 crore) of profit at the end of FY20, which is a considerable jump from the $11.92 mn (Rs 87.8 crore) loss that it posted during FY19, the regulatory filings say.

The cash flow that operated negatively for Dream11 at $7.79 mn (Rs 57.4 crore) during FY19 turned to yield some positive cash inflows close to $35.46 mn (Rs 261 crore) during FY20.

Looking at the expenses, Dream11 has spent around $253.76 mn (Rs 1867.60 crores) during DY20, which surged by nearly 99% from $126.94 mn (Rs 934.4 crores), the total expenditure of the company during FY19. Dream11 spent a whopping $180.42 mn (Rs 1,328.02 Cr) on its advertisement and promotional activities, which was followed by expenses on Information technology, employee benefits, and others. On a unit level, it can be observed that the company spent Rs 0.9 to earn a single rupee of operating revenue, which was an improvement from the last year, FY19, when the company spent Rs 1.2 spent to earn the same.

Apart from having $11.92 mn (Rs 87.8 crores) worth of loss during FY19, Dream11 also sported outstanding losses of ($20.03 mn) Rs 147.5 crore on its balance sheet, according to March 31, 2019. However, the company not only recouped those losses but also emerged successful in paying out ($11.09 mn) Rs 81.71 crore in taxes during FY20.


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Dream11 - Partnerships

Here are some of the partnerships that Dream11 forged throughout the years:

  • After technology company Vivo pulled out for a year, Dream11 secured the rights to fund the 2020 Indian Premier League for $2.22 billion on August 18, 2020. Dream11 was appointed the Official Partner of the Indian Premier League by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in August 2020.
  • Dream11 was revealed as the title sponsor of the Super Smash domestic Twenty20 tournament by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in October 2019. This relationship was extended for another six years until 2026 in January 2021.
  • In 2018, Dream11 confirmed partnerships with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the World Basketball League (WBBL), and the British Basketball League (BBL). Dream11 added two new games to their website in 2018 as a result of the aforementioned partnership: Kabaddi and Hockey.
  • In 2017, the organization collaborated with three cricket, football, and basketball leagues. Dream11 was named the Official Fantasy Partner of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, Hero Indian Super League, and the National Basketball Association of the United States of America (NBA). Later that year, they became the official Fantasy Football Partner of the Indian Super League. The NBA and Dream11 collaborated to launch a fantasy basketball game in November 2017, and Dream11 released their official NBA fantasy game on their website.

Dream11 - Competitors

Fantasy gaming in India is at such a boom that it wouldn't be wrong to say that there are new entrants every day in the market. With Dream11 being number one in the industry there are close to 60 other online gaming platforms operating in the same genre. Some of them include FanMojo, Mobile Premier League, Ballebaaz, HalaPlay, Gaming Monk, etc.

Dream11 - Awards & Recognitions

Dream11 Awards
Dream11 Awards
  • Dream11 won the prestigious Red Herring Global 100 Award conducted by Red Herring on January 25, 2013.
  • According to a report by Google, Dream11 was named among the Top 10 biggest and most popular trends of 2018 in India.
  • In 2019, BCCI signed up Dream11 as Β IPL's official fantasy sports partner till 2022. This was not only validation for Dream11, but the whole fantasy gaming sector in the country.
  • In 2018, Dream11 was ranked #9 among India's Great Mid-Size Workplaces
  • In Inc42's 42Next list, Dream11 was one of 42 innovative startups.

Dream11 - FAQs

Who are the founders of Dream11?

Dream11 was co-founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008.

Who is the owner of Dream11?

Dream Sports is the owner and parent company of Dream11. Dream Sports is a sports technology company whose portfolio includes brands including Dream11, FanCode, DreamX, DreamSetGo, and Dream Pay.

Dream11 started in which year?

Dream11 was launched in the year 2008.

Who are the Top Competitors of Dream11?

With Dream11 being number one in the industry there are close to 60 other online gaming platforms operating in the same genre. Some of them include FanMojo, Mobile Premier League, Ballebaaz, HalaPlay, Gaming Monk, etc.

How much is the revenue of Dream11?

Dream11 reported a revenue of 801.7 crores in FY19.

Is Dream11 Chinese app?

Dream11 is an Indian fantasy sports platform. Tencent, A Chinese Conglomerate has a 10% stake in Dream11.

Yes, millions of people are playing paid leagues on Dream11. It is absolutely safe and legal way to earn money. Dream11 is largest fantasy website in India having more that 1.1 crore players.

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