Having Good Innings? Meet The 32 Startups High On IPL Frenzy This Year

Having Good Innings? Meet The 32 Startups High On IPL Frenzy This Year


A total of 32 startups will be partaking in the IPL 2024, a 68% increase from last year’s 19

While Dream11 has sponsored 8 startups, OTT platform FanCode, a subsidiary of Dream11 parent, has made 6 sponsorships

Startups like The Souled Store, Unacademy, Swiggy Instamart, Open, Souled Store, Jar, Cars24, and Ather Energy have given this year's IPL a miss

With the festival of colours, Holi, just around the corner and the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting today, there is no better occasion for brands to reconnect with their existing customers and build a potential pipeline of new ones. 

With the months-long cricketing action set to begin today, a host of brands, including startups, are set to leverage their partnerships with the tournament to the fullest. 

While the IPL 2023 saw the number of startups partnering with teams decline to 19 from 29 in 2022, owing to a harsh funding winter and profitability concerns, the startup participation in this year’s cricket jamboree is breaking all records.

This is also being seen as a sign of an improving funding environment in the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem. To be sure, with startups ramping up marketing spending, the number of startups partnering with IPL teams this year has increased 68% year-on-year to 32.

With the number of sponsors, especially startups, touching a new high, here’s Inc42’s deep dive into Indian startups’ bid to cash in on the cricketing fervour this year. 

Startups Secure Key Sponsorship Deals This Year

With the IPL garnering big viewership numbers on both TV broadcast as well as OTT streaming, startups seem to be choosing the advertising medium based on their target audience.

While Dream11 will be co-presenting the mega event on Start Sports, which is the official TV broadcaster for the IPL, streaming platform JioCinema has roped in startups like CRED, Upstox, and Rapido as associate sponsors. 

In terms of teams, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bengaluru seem to be startups’ favourites. Both teams have partnered with at least 10 startups each this year. 


IPL team wise sponsorships

Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad have tied up with four startups each, while Chennai Super Kings has received the lowest startup interest with only two partnerships.

No GST Blues For Dream11 & My11Circle? 

The IPL has traditionally been the biggest event every year for fantasy gaming startups, however, the imposition of 28% GST on real-money gaming has hit real-money gaming startups in the sector hard. Consequently, only three such startups are participating in the T20 league this year.

Interestingly, amid this, gaming unicorn Dream11 has upped its bet on the league this year by partnering with eight teams – Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gujarat Titans, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals – in various capacities. 

Besides, Dream11-backed Rario and Dream Sports’ subsidiary FanCode have also inked several partnerships. While FanCode’s logo will be seen on the clothes of five IPL teams, Rario is backing Royal Challengers Bengaluru this year. This takes the total sponsorships from the Dream11 camp to 14. 

Meanwhile, Dream11’s competitor My11Circle outbid it to become the official partner for the IPL for the next five years. The new fantasy sports official partner was announced yesterday by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL governing council on March 20. The Games 24×7 subsidiary is also a sponsor of Lucknow Super Giants. 

Moving on, Vision11 is sponsoring Chennai Super Kings in the event this year. With this, the Surat-based startup has marked its maiden partnership

Meanwhile, haunted by the GST nightmare, startups like Mobile Premier League, MyFab11, Ballebaazi won’t be making an appearance in the league this year. 

Bira, boAt, FanCraze Lay Low

Last year’s co-leader FanCode slipped to the second spot in terms of number of partnerships with IPL teams this year. However, it has retained last year’s partnership numbers. The OTT platform is sponsoring six teams – Kolkata Knight Riders, Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad – this year. 

Having Good Innings? Meet The 32 Startups High On IPL Frenzy This Year

Alcoholic beverages startup Bira 91 has marked a 40% decrease in its sponsorships this year to three. Similarly, NFT startup FanCraze has also reduced its team partnerships from last year’s four to only backing Delhi Capitals as their official sponsor this year. 

On the other hand, boAt, which markets itself heavily during the matches in the T20 league, has partnered with only Gujarat Titans and Royal Challengers Bengaluru this year. It has been gradually reducing its investment in the IPL over the last few years. Last year, it teamed up with just three teams, compared to the four teams it partnered in 2022 and six teams in 2021.

D2C Brands Steal The Limelight

Having Good Innings? Meet The 32 Startups High On IPL Frenzy This Year

Broadly, sponsorship trends are being dominated by brands operating in the D2C sector. As many as 14 D2C startups are associated with IPL 2024, overtaking last year’s winners in the fintech space. 

Prominent players like boAt, CRED, Upstox, ACKO, Boldfit, and Paytm are slated to make an appearance on the field this year. However, startups like Unacademy, Swiggy Instamart, Open, The Souled Store, Jar, Cars24, and Ather Energy, just to count a few, have given this year’s IPL a miss. 

The most interesting story of a startup completely backing off IPL comes with D2C clothing brand The Souled Store, which sponsored five teams in 2022 and only two teams last year, has zilch participation in the IPL 2024. 

Meanwhile, many new early and growth stage startups will be seen making their IPL debut this year. With that said, here’s a complete list of startups backing the much-awaited cricket tournament.

A List Of Startups Visible During IPL 2024


Founded by Varun Dua and Ruchi Deepak in 2016, Mumbai-based insurtech unicorn ACKO offers auto, health and electronics insurance products. 

This year, the startup is serving as an associate sponsor for Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Titans, while it has shedded its Mumbai Indians sponsorship from last year. 

Bella Vita 

D2C personal care brand Bella Vita, owned by Idam Natural Wellness Private Limited, was launched by Aakash Anand in 2018. It manufactures and sells natural skincare, haircare and wellness products focused on personal care solutions.

The startup is the official partner for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru this year, its miaen partnership with the tournament. 

Bira 91

Founded by Ankur Jain in 2015, New Delhi-based Bira 91 manufactures draft beer and has a presence across 550 towns and cities, spanning over 18 countries. The startup claims to be India’s fourth-largest beer company.

While Bira 91 would continue to be the partner of Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Sunrisers Hyderabad this year, the company has ceased its partnerships with Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians.

Bira 91’s net loss increased 12% to INR 445.4 Cr in FY23 from INR 396 Cr in the previous fiscal year.


Founded by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta in 2015, boAt operates in the larger audio and wearables markets and sells products such as headphones, smart watches and speakers. 

The startup dropped its partnership with Kolkata Knight Riders this year, while continuing with Gujarat Titans and Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Interestingly, boAt’s financials also slipped into the red for the first time last year since its inception. In FY23, it reported a net loss of INR 129.4 Cr after posting a profit of INR 68.7 Cr in the previous fiscal year.


Founded by Pallav Bihani in 2018, Boldfit offers affordable health supplements and training equipment to help Indians reach their fitness goals. It has developed over 400 SKUs since inception and reported a revenue of INR 63 Cr in FY22.

It is the official partner for Delhi Capitals, merchandise partner for Mumbai Indians, and sponsor for Chennai Super Kings.


Founded in 1999 by Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dhar and Rajesh Balpande, BookMyShow’s online ticketing platform for events, movies, sports and plays was launched in 2007. The company, which competes against the likes of Paytm Insider, counts Accel Partners and TPG Growth among its investors.

The startup skipped last year’s IPL, most likely on the account of its efforts to recover from the pandemic woes. However, it is making a comeback this year and will serve as the official partner for Rajasthan Royals. The move coincides with the startup turning profitable recently, registering a consolidated net profit of INR 85.1 Cr in FY23.


Founded in 2022 by Yashesh Mukhi and Vinita Turakhia, Chupps is a D2C footwear brand offering cool, comfortable and sustainable casual footwear. It is the merchandising partner for Mumbai Indians this season.


Founded by Kunal Shah in 2018, CRED offers credit card users rewards for paying credit card bills on its platform. The fintech startup entered the coveted unicorn club in April 2021 after raising $215 Mn in a Series D round at a post-money valuation of $2.2 Bn. Its total revenue jumped over 3.5X  to INR 1,400.6 Cr in FY23 from INR 393.5 Cr in the previous fiscal year.

Having sponsored the entire league in 2023, this year it is an associate sponsor for JioCinema streaming.

The Crunch Box

Founded by Priyanka Rai and Diksha Malhotra in 2014, The Crunch Box is a D2C brand which sells different flavours of popcorn. 

It will serve as a partner for Mumbai Indians in this year’s IPL season.


Founded in 2014 by Sripad Vaidya and Dinesh Kumar Kotha, ConfirmTkt is a train ticket discovery platform. 

RCB has onboarded it as its ticketing partner. Interestingly, the startup also invested in the recently held ICC’s Men’s Cricket World Cup, serving as a licensee for the event.


Founded by Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain in 2008, Dream Sports, which operates Dream11, allows users to participate in various fantasy competitions for cricket, football, kabaddi and basketball. 

The gaming unicorn has backed eight teams, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gujarat Titans, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals, in various capacities this season. Apart from this, it will also be the co-presenter for the league on Star Sports.

It is pertinent to note that the startup backed only six teams last year. It also served as the official sponsor for IPL 2023. 

The startup’s net profit rose to INR 187.83 Cr in FY23 from INR 141.97 C in FY22.


Incepted in 2020 by Prabhakaran Balasundaram and Saravanan Mohan, Dudeme is a D2C lifestyle fashion clothing brand offering casual wear for men and women. 

Its logo will feature on the jerseys of Punjab Kings this season.

Eatfit (Curefoods)

Eatfit is a subsidiary of cloud kitchen startup Curefoods. It is a fast-casual restaurant that specialises in serving healthy and nutritious meals for those looking for a quick and convenient option.

Marking its maiden sponsorship for the event, the startup will feature on the jerseys of Rajasthan Royals this season. 

EatSure (Rebel Foods)

Mumbai-based cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods-operated D2C platform EatSure delivers food from brands such as Behrouz Biryani, Oven Story Pizza, Faasos, Sweet Truth, LunchBox, The Good Bowl, Firangi Bake, The Biryani Life and Wendy’s. 

It will serve as an official partner for Royal Challengers Bengaluru for the first time. 


Founded by Robin Raina, EbixCash helps consumers and businesses in international remittance based on GTV and foreign exchange, digital payments, domestic money remittances, prepaid cards and various other factors.

It will continue to feature on the Punjab Kings jerseys as the title sponsor this year.


Ecentric is a D2C Hemp Clothing Brand for style and comfort. It was launched by Salendra Gupta in 2020 and is a merchandise partner for Mumbai Indians.


Founded by Naina Parekh in 2018, EUME sells backpacks that have 4 inbuilt massagers that give massages on pressure points in a person’s back. The startup is the merchandising partner for Mumbai Indians this season.

FanCode (Dream11)

Founded in 2019 by Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan, FanCode offers interactive live streaming of sports matches with customisable data overlays, ad-free live scores and sports-related content through ‘Match Pass & Tour Pass’, along with fantasy sports statistics, expert fantasy tips, game analysis and access to engage with other sports fans. 

This year, it is the merchandise licensing partner for Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, the sponsor for Lucknow Super Giants, and partner for Sunrisers Hyderabad. 


Founded in 2021 by Anshum Bhambri, Sundar Raman and Kushagra Kohli, FanCraze (also known as Faze) is an NFT-focused startup which creates collectibles on some of cricket’s most important moments. 

It last raised $100 Mn in a funding round led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with B Capital, in 2022. However, the startup has been caught in downturns of sorts since then. With the craze around NFTs dying out, the startup had to let go off 75% of its workforce early last year. 

In its second IPL run, the startup is the official partner for Delhi Capitals. The number is significantly lower than last year’s five sponsorships. 


Launched in 2010 by Times Internet, Gaana is a subscription-based commercial music streaming service with over 200 Mn monthly users.

It is the sponsor for the Lucknow Super Giants team this year.


Founded in 2016 by Vikas Nahar, Happilo is a D2C healthy snacking brand. It offers snacking options such as dry fruits, trail mixes, nut protein bars, and muesli. It is the principal partner of Happilo.

The startup has extended its partnership with Royal Challengers Bengaluru as a principal sponsor for IPL 2024.


My11Circle is a fantasy cricket platform of gaming unicorn Games24x7 founded by Bhavin Pandya and Trivikraman Thampy in 2006. The unicorn also houses popular brands such as RummyCircle and casual games hub U Games.

This year, the startup outbid Dream11 to secure the coveted BCCI sponsorship slot for the event. The startup accompanies CEAT, Angel One, and RuPay in the list of IPL sponsors. Further, it is also the principal partner of Gujarat Titans and sponsor of the Lucknow Super Giants. This is an increase from last year where it only partnered with Lucknow Super Giants.

NIC Ice Cream

Founded in 2015 by Jeetendra Bhandari, Sanjiv Shah and Raj Bhandari, NIC is an ice cream brand owned by Walko Food. It counts the likes of Jungle Ventures as its backers.

It will be acting as a partner for Mumbai Indians this season.


Founded in 2020 by Ravi Kallayil, Sara Kilgore and Pavan Kareti, Plaeto designs and sells footwear for children. The startup uses an omnichannel approach and sells on major ecommerce platforms along with its website. 

It will be acting as a merchandising partner for Mumbai Indians this season.


Founded in 2010 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm returns to IPL 2024 but on a low-key note. From serving as the official umpire partner for the whole tournament, the trouble riddled fintech giant has cut down its tie up this year to only Delhi Capitals as its exclusive ticketing partner.


Founded in 2015 by Rishikesh SR, Pavan Guntupalli and Aravind Sanka, Rapido is a ride-hailing platform which provides auto and bike taxi services. It is an associate sponsor of the IPL’s official streamer JioCinema this year. This marks the startup’s first official sponsorship for the tournament. 

It is pertinent to note that the company’s standalone loss widened 53.6% to INR 674.5 Cr in FY23 as against INR 439 Cr in the previous fiscal year.


Cricket non-fungible tokens (NFTs) startup Rario was founded by Sunny Bhanot and Ankit Wadhwa in 2021. It counts Dream Sports, Alpha Wave Global and Animoca Brands among its investors.

The startup has been in trouble owing to a sharp decline in the craze around NFTs. Both its founders recently exited the company amid reports that investors forced them to exit. 

The startup has made a slew of partnerships with names such as Sachin Tendulkar, IPL franchisees Gujarat Titans and Punjab Kings, Cricket Australia, and Lanka Premier League in the past.

However, it has only partnered with Royal Challengers Bengaluru this year.


Fintech unicorn slice was founded by Rajan Bajaj in 2016. The fintech startup operated as a buy now pay later (BNPL) platform, offering a credit card-like prepaid payment instrument (PPI) with no annual charges, no interest, and no late fees. It counts Tiger Global, Insight Partners, Advent International, Blume Ventures, and Gunosy Capital among others.

slice returns to the front of Mumbai Indians’ jersey as the principal sponsor in IPL 2024.

Too Yumm

Founded by Shashwat Goenka in 2016, Too Yumm is a B2C brand that offers a wide range of healthy snacking options. It has sponsored Lucknow Super Giants in the current season. 


Upstox’s parent company RKSV Securities was founded by Shrini Viswanath, Raghu Kumar and Ravi Kumar in 2008. It started as a proprietary trading firm but ventured into retail brokerage with the launch of Upstox in 2012. 

The startup offers online stock market investment services, advisory services, mutual fund investments, and more.

Unlike previous years where it served as an official partner for the whole tournament, the fintech major is an associate sponsor of JioCinema this year. 

Upstox turned profitable in FY23 with a consolidated profit of over INR 25 Cr.


Founded by Parth Rawal and Rakesh Kumar Rawal in 2021, Surat-based Vision11 is a fantasy sports platform. It offers games like Cricket, Kabaddi, Volleyball, Hockey, Baseball, Handball, Basketball and Football on its platform and claims to have a userbase of 10 Mn+.  

It is the third fantasy sports platform to associate with IPL this year, backing Chennai Super Kings in its maiden participation in the event. 


Wrogn is a Bengaluru-based fashion startup backed by Virat Kohli. Its parent entity, Universal Sportsbiz Private Limited, was established in 2015. In its maiden IPL participation, the startup has partnered with Sunrisers Hyderabad this year.

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