Dream Sports is a Mumbai-based sports technology company that includes popular brands like Dream11, Dream X, DreamSetGo, DreamPay and FanCode. Recently, Harsh Jain, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the company has announced in an exclusive interview with Economic Times that the start-up will not receive funding from Chinese investors ever again.
Yes! the company has declared its decision publicly that it will never receive any Chinese investments from this day onwards. Popular Chinese investor Tencent Holdings Limited reportedly owns less than 10% of stakes in Dream Sports which has also been diluted because of the ongoing India-China tensions at the border.
The Indian government is actively taking decisions to reduce India’s dependency on Chinese products and as a part of these tensions at the border, India has also banned over 200 Chinese applications that were operational and popular in India. TikTok, PUBG Mobile, CamScanner, Shein are some of these applications that were very much used and preferred by Indian users. However, this decision did have its positive side as it gave chance and an open opportunity to Indian developers and creators to showcase their product in the Indian start-up ecosystem. Several new applications that serve as alternatives to the banned Chinese apps have gained recognition over the past few months and the trend of boycotting Chinese products and services in India continues with start-ups refraining from raising funds from Chinese investors.
Last year in August, Dream11 kicked off Vivo to bag sponsorship rights for the Indian Premier League 2020. Vivo being a Chinese smartphone maker was side-lined out of favour which may or may not be unethical depending on subjective opinions.
However, Dream11 has also recently raised funds worth USD 225 million in its latest financing round from Tiger Global Management, Chrys Capital among several others, according to a report by Medianama.com.
Alibaba and Tencent are active investors in the Indian start-up ecosystem that are backing unicorns like Paytm, Swiggy, Udaan, BigBasket and Zomato. Koo is a new government recognised application that is also raising funds from Shunwei Capital, a Chinese investor that is in advanced talks with Koo.
Ant Group is backing India’s most valuable start-up- Paytm and holds a 30% stake in One97 Communications. There were talks that Ant Group was planning to sell its stake in the company because of the on-going India-China tensions. According to multiple reports and as mentioned by Medianama.com, Vijay Shekhar defended its Chinese investors by mentioning that shareholders do not have a say in making company decisions.
Lastly, in a report shared by the government of India, it is mentioned that Chinese investments in India have shrunk drastically from 2016 to 2020.