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FTX in talks to invest in Indian gaming startup MPL, sources say – TC

India’s Mobile Premier League, or MPL, is in talks to raise capital from a number of investors including the crypto exchange FTX as the mobile gaming startup prepares to make a web3 push, three sources familiar with the matter told me.

An investment will mark a significant shift in the Bengaluru-headquartered startup’s future outlook as it gears up to expand its offerings in a new category.

MPL, which counts Sequoia Capital India and RTP Global among its existing backers, operates over 60 mobile games including sports-based, card-based, fantasy and casual titles, but in recent weeks the startup has informed some existing and new potential investors that it plans to launch play-to-earn and NFT-based games later this year, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the deliberations are ongoing and they are not authorized to speak to the press.

MPL as of a month ago was looking to raise the new investment as an extension to its Series E round at a $2.5 billion valuation, one of the sources said.

The terms of the investment could change, the sources cautioned. FTX did not respond to a request for comment by press time. In a statement, an MPL spokesperson said: “as a company policy, we do not comment on speculations.”

The startup has amassed over 5 million monthly active “cash playing” users, it disclosed in a December investor presentation, reviewed by me. Its monthly average revenue per user stood at about $5, the presentation said.

In the presentation, MPL said it was building “the game distribution platform of tomorrow,” where over 500 million tournaments are already being played each month.

An investment would officially mark the arrival of FTX, valued at $32 billion, into the Indian startup ecosystem, where it has so far largely been involved via the means of partnerships and sponsorships.

Coinbase, FTX’s rival, in contrast has made a number of investments in the country, including the top two local crypto exchanges, CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX.

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