Go-Jek arm in talks to invest Indian e-sports Mobile Premier League

Go-Ventures, the investment arm of Indonesia’s leading cab haling company Go-Jek, is in advanced talks to invest US$30 million in Indian e-sports gaming startup Mobile Premier League (MPL), says The Economic Times report quoting unnamed sources.

If done, this will be Go-Jek’s first equity investment in India, although the cab-hailing company has in the past acquired/acqui-hired three local startups. This includes Bangalore-based C42 Engineering and Delhi-based CodeIgnition in February 2016, and the acquihire of mobile application development startup Leftshift Technologies in November 2016.

According to one of the sources who spoke to ET, Go-Jek is moving beyond transportation and wants to be like a super app in Indonesia and neighbouring countries.

This could be MPL’s second funding round in a month, as it in November raised US$5 million in Series A led by Sequoia Capital. Singapore firm BeeNext Ventures and Times Internet, a part of Times group, are also investors of MPL.

Founded in 2018 by Sai Srinivas Kiran Garimella and Shubham Malhotra, MPL is a skill based e-sports platform where you can play and participate in live gaming tournaments for free and win real cash in return. Once the results are announced for a tournament, winners can cash out immediately with Paytm, UPI or bank transfer. As of now, there are six games on the app.

Started in 2010 as a two-wheeler ride-hailing company, Go-Jek has now grown to become an on-demand mobile platform providing services such as transportation, logistics, payment, and food delivery. The company, which has raised a total of US$3.3 billion in funding from Google to Tencent Holdings from seven rounds, is currently operating in 50 cities in Indonesia.

The firm recently launched the beta version of its app in Singapore, under the brand GOJEK, to take on mighty Grab, which has become the dominant player in the region following the exit of Uber in 2017. Available for both Android and iOS devices, the app is currently being released on beta stage and will be rolled out gradually to ensure balance between supply and demand.

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