Go-Jek’s investment arm, Go-Ventures, together with Sequoia India and Times Internet reportedly invested USD 35.5 million in Indian e-sport startup Mobile Premier League (MPL), according to the Economic Times. Other investors involved in this funding are RTP Global, Beenext, Base Growth, and Venture Highway.
MPL has raised USD 40.5 million since it was founded in early 2018. Its Series A funding round announced in November last year came from Sequoia Capital, which is also invested in Go-Jek.
Although it is relatively new, MPL has grown rapidly with 25 million registered users across both Android and iOS. It’s a platform for mobile gamers, focused on casual gaming genres like arcade, adventure games, or sports. The startup collaborates with third-party developers and publishes the games on its platform.
This news confirmed a rumor that surfaced in December last year about Go-Jek’s intention to make its first financial investment in India.
Go-Jek has acquired four Indian companies, Leftshift, Pianta, C42 Engineering, and CodeIgnition, but these were strategic acquisitions intended to boost Go-Jek’s tech stack. Go-Jek established a presence in India in 2016, with an engineering facility in Bangalore.
Go-Jek will likely continue to strengthen its business in India. Besides MPL, the ride-hailing unicorn is also reportedly in talks to form a joint venture with Rebel Foods, a cloud kitchen company that backs up several online restaurant brands like Faasos and Behrouz Biryani. Go-Jek plans to take the cloud kitchen expertise of Rebel Foods to the Southeast Asian market once the partnership officially established.
In its home market Southeast Asia, Go-Jek is making its own foray into e-sports. It sponsors gaming competitions and has hired a person to build out an e-sports division last year.