India's Centre Court Capital launches $42 million sports, gaming tech fund

By Savio Shetty

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Sports technology-focussed fund Centre Court Capital said on Thursday that it has launched a 3.5 billion rupees (around $42 million) venture capital fund that includes investments from the owners of India's JSW Group and billionaire Azim Premji's wealth fund.

Centre Court Capital, or CCC, has raised 2 billion rupees so far from athletes and companies including SG Sports, the sports and entertainment arm of steel tubes and pipe-maker APL Apollo, and will back founders bringing innovative tech into sports and the gaming ecosystem, the fund said in a press release.

India is home to three gaming unicorns in Game 24X7, Dream11 and Mobile Premier League, besides having the world's second-largest population of gamers.

Analysts have said the country's large youth population, an increase in disposable incomes among the more affluent, and higher smartphone purchases are fuelling growth in the gaming market.

"We have seen a tremendous rise in both public and private investment in sports which has more than quadrupled since 2020. Adding to that, the gaming sector is poised to grow at a 5-year CAGR of 21%," CCC founder Mustafa Ghouse said.

($1 = 83.5048 Indian rupees)

(This story has been corrected to fix the descriptor of SG Sports in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Savio Shetty in Mumbai, writing by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)