The fund is said to be a multi-stage fund, with a primary focus on startups in the sports segment
With the fund, Dhawan became the first Asian sportsperson to have launched a venture capital fund to invest in startups
The fund becomes the second sportstech fund in about a year, with Dream Capital launching a $250 Mn fund last August
Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan has announced a global investment fund to invest in sportstech startups with an initial corpus of $75 Mn and a greenshoe option of $25 Mn.
With this, Shikhar Dhawan became the first Asian sportsperson to have launched a venture capital fund. “I am elated to start a new innings and embark on this journey in the world of venture capital,” said Dhawan in a press statement.
The Indian cricketer added that the fund targets deployment in Q1 2023-24.
The fund is said to be a global, multi-stage fund, with a primary focus on startups in the sports segment. The fund would onboard sports personalities from different sports for representation.
Dhawan’s fund becomes the second fund in about a year with a focus on sportstech startups. Last August, Dream11’s investment arm Dream Capital launched a $250 Mn VC fund to back sportstech, gaming and fitness startups. Dream Capital’s fund follows a multi-stage investment strategy and writes cheques worth between $1 Mn and $100 Mn.
The coming of this fund looks like a natural development from Dhawan’s past engagement as investors. The cricketer has been actively investing in India’s startup ecosystem over the past few years. He is a part of a star-studded cast who are the backers of yoga startup Sarva.
Along with his startup investments, he also founded Da-One Group, a startup which has a chain of sports academies across the country.
The Gurugram-based startup offers training in 12 sports including cricket, basketball and football across 11 academies in five states in the country. Da-One Group offers a tech-enabled training program, with video analytics and Stance Beam, an analytics tool for batsmen.
Shikhar Dhawan also is a part of a growing list of Indian cricketers, both past and present, that have been investing in Indian startups. Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni lead the lineup, while former stars Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev and Saurav Ganguli feature further down the batting order.
Dhawan joins the list of Indian cricketers who have founded startups as well, with former Indian cricketer Jatin Paranjape founding KheloMore in 2016. Paranjape’s startup recently raised funding from Eruditus’ founder Ashwin Damera.
According to Inc42 data, sportstech startups have raised $139 Mn across 29 funding deals between 2014 and November 2022. Tracxn’s data suggests that there are 1,036 sportstech startups in India, with some of them being Global Sports Commerce (GSC), SportsApp, Protege Sports and SportzVillage, among others.