Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan has introduced a global investment fund to invest in sportstech startups with an initial corpus of $75 Mn and a greenshoe option of $25 Mn.
“I am elated to start a new innings and embark on this journey in the world of venture capital,” said Shikhar Dhawan in a press release. He added that the fund targets deployment in Q1 2023-24. Shikhar is probably the first Asian sportsperson to have initiated such a venture capital fund.
According to the statement the fund is touted to be a global, multi-stage fund, with a initial focus on startups in the sports arena. The fund plans to onboard sports personalities from different sports for representation.
Shikhar Dhawan’s fund follows Dream Capital $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 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 Joins the list of elite investors funding sportstech startups
Shikhar Dhawan is currently a part of a rising 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 estimates 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.