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Centre Court Capital launches Rs 350 cr maiden fund for sports, gaming

Fund has raised Rs 200 cr in commitments from investors, will focus on early-stage opportunities

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Ghouse said India has 396 million gamers, the second largest such population, and the sector is poised to grow at a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 21 per cent | File image

Aryaman Gupta New Delhi

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Centre Court Capital, a venture capital firm for sports and gaming, on Thursday announced the launch of its maiden Rs 350 crore fund to “back founders bringing innovative tech and pushing the boundaries of the sports and gaming ecosystem.”

The fund has already raised Rs 200 crore in commitments from investors that include the Jindal family, Small Industries Development Bank of India, Premji Invest, USK Capital, GMR Sports, and SG Sports.

“We have seen a tremendous rise in both public and private investment in Sports which has more than quadrupled since 2020. As a result, we’re seeing an acceleration in the number of startups that are building from India for India and the world,” said Mustafa Ghouse, founder and general partner at Centre Court Capital.

Ghouse said India has 396 million gamers, the second largest such population, and the sector is poised to grow at a 5-year compound annual growth rate 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,” he said.

Centre Court was founded by Mustafa Ghouse, former chief executive of JSW Sports, and Alok Samtaney a former investment director at TVS Capital and Sabre Partners. The fund has the Sajjan Jindal Family Trust as an anchor investor.

“Over the last decade, we have backed, invested and developed sport 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,” said Parth Jindal, managing director of JSW Cement and JSW Paints and founder of JSW Sports.

Centre Court is a SEBI-registered Category II AIF. It will launch an offshore feeder fund in GIFT City to raise capital from international investors. The fund has completed its first two investments in the sports technology space.

It will look to focus on early-stage opportunities, earmarking Rs 8 crore to Rs 24 crore, while reserving 40-50 per cent of the fund for follow-on investments.

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First Published: Apr 04 2024 | 1:39 PM IST

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