Centre Court Capital announces maiden sports tech and gaming VC fund

Founded By Former JSW Sports CEO, Mustafa Ghouse And Anchored By Parth Jindal, Fund Has Raised INR 200 Crores To Date, On A INR 350 Crore Target

Mumbai, 4th April 2024 : Centre Court Capital announced the launch of a INR 350 crore fund that is set to revolutionize India’s sports and gaming landscape. Founded by Mustafa Ghouse, former CEO of JSW Sports along with Alok Samtaney who was a former Investment Director with TVS Capital and Sabre Partners, the fund has the Sajjan Jindal Family Trust as anchor investor, with Parth Jindal at the helm. The fund will back founders bringing innovative tech and pushing the boundaries of the sports and gaming ecosystem – a segment that is fast becoming a significant asset class.

The first-of-its-kind, sector-focused VC fund has already raised INR 200 crore in commitments from eminent investors and top athletes. Joining the Jindal family – who have played a big role in shaping India’s sporting ecosystem over the last decade – are the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), PremjiInvest, USK Capital, and other large corporate sports investors in the country such as GMR Sports, and SG Sports. Other notable figures from the world of sport and media have also joined.

Speaking on the launch, Mustafa Ghouse, Founder and General Partner of Centre Court Capital, said, “The sports and gaming sectors are experiencing unprecedented growth in the country. Tech is dominating the narrative of how sport is played and consumed, and we want to be at the forefront of this revolution. 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. Adding to that, with 396 million gamers, we’re the 2nd largest population of gamers in the world and the gaming sector is poised to grow at a 5-year CAGR of 21%. 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. At CCC, we possess the experience and know-how to fuel the charge of sport and gaming. We are keen to write the India chapter of a trend that’s growing globally.”

Mustafa, a former Asian Games Bronze medalist and member of the Indian Davis Cup team, went on to become founding CEO of JSW Sports. He brings with him the operating experience of having put together Inspire Institute of Sport, India’s premier Olympic training facility, aside from leading the acquisition and heading teams across the IPL, ISL, and PKL. Alok, meanwhile, brings deep experience across the fund lifecycle having spent over 15 years between TVS Capital Funds and Sabre Partners. He has made and managed a diversified portfolio of venture capital and private equity investments and has seen a substantial number of exits.

Parth Jindal, MD of JSW Cement Ltd., JSW Paints Pvt. Ltd., and Founder of JSW Sports, said, “I’ve always been a firm believer that sports has the power to inspire change and bring people together. 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. We are proud to be early backers of Centre Court Capital’s pioneering fund, which will further drive growth and innovation in what is an ever-evolving sector.”

Centre Court Capital is a SEBI-registered Category II AIF, and is soon launching an offshore feeder fund in GIFT City, to raise capital from international investors. The fund has already completed its first two investments in the sports tech space. It will look to focus on early stage opportunities, earmarking INR 8 to 24 crores, while reserving 40-50% of the fund for follow-on investments.

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