Jindal-supported venture capital firm raises first fund to invest in Indian sports and gaming

Sports Technology: Centre Court Capital’s Big Bet on India’s Young Demographic

Centre Court Capital, a venture capital firm backed by steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal, is raising up to 3.5 billion rupees ($42 million) for its inaugural fund to invest in Indian sports technology and video game startups. The Mumbai-based fund is targeting 15 to 18 investments, primarily in Series A rounds, over the next three years. Founder Mustafa Ghouse stated in a phone interview that they have already secured 2 billion rupees from backers, including Jindal’s family trust as the anchor investor, and are looking to raise the remaining amount by November.

Gaming and sports are becoming increasingly popular in India due to its young demographic and growing spending power. Although the sector is still in its early stages in India, changing consumer preferences are presenting new opportunities. Ghouse noted that there has been a shift in mindset in the country regarding fitness, sports, and gaming, and the fund aims to capitalize on this trend.

Centre Court will concentrate on technologies that enhance athletic performance, content creation, and monetization, as well as consumer-facing companies specializing in sleep and general fitness. The fund has already invested in two startups – a broadcast technology company and a sports analytics provider – and is also in discussions with gaming studios.

Ghouse, a former international tennis player who previously led investments in cricket team Delhi Capitals and other franchises during his tenure at Jindal’s JSW Group, is heading the fund. Alok Samtaney, a former principal at TVS Capital Funds, has joined him as a partner. Together they are focused on identifying promising startups that have innovative solutions for Indian sports technology and gaming sectors.

The Indian market presents significant growth potential for sports technology startups due to its large population of young people who are interested in fitness activities such as running marathons or practicing yoga. As more Indians participate in sports activities or engage with video games online or through mobile devices

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