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Centre Court Capital Spearheads $42M Investment in India's Booming Sports Tech Arena


Lauren Miller

April 4, 2024 - 06:10 am


India's Centre Court Capital Targets $42 Million Fund for Sports Tech Startups

People play cricket at a fisherman colony during sunset in the Worli area of Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. Mumbai is among the most densely populated cities in the world. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

In the bustling heart of India, Mumbai stands as an economic powerhouse, brimming with life and opportunity. The city, which is one of the most densely populated globally, is witnessing a growth narrative in the sports technology and video gaming sector. Enter Centre Court Capital, a venture capital firm with a strategic focus on nurturing this burgeoning industry. Backed by formidable industry figures, including steel magnate Sajjan Jindal, Centre Court Capital aims to deploy a substantial amount of capital to fuel innovative startups in India’s evolving sports tech landscape.

Harnessing India's Youth and Growing Sports Interest

In an ambitious move, Centre Court Capital announces its intent to amass approximately 3.5 billion rupees, which translates to around 42 million US dollars, for its initial funding venture. This maiden fund will be channelled into a range of Indian enterprise startups, with a particular eye on those specializing in sports technology and video game development.

The firm's strategy is outlined to target between 15 and 18 investments focusing mainly on Series A funding rounds over the subsequent three years. Mustafa Ghouse, the founder of Centre Court Capital, expressed the growth map for the fund in a recent phone interview. With 2 billion rupees already committed by a cohort of investors and the Jindal family trust as the anchor investor, Ghouse portrays the firm's drive to secure the remaining capital by the end of the fiscal year in November.

A Changing Indian Landscape

Sporting ventures have been gaining momentum in India, a nation revered for its sheer population volume and a demographic that skews markedly young—a catalyst for burgeoning spending prowess. Despite the relative infancy of the sports tech sector within the country, India glimpses the dawn of burgeoning consumer preferences. These evolving inclinations herald new opportunities in a market eager for disruption.

"There has been a mindset change in the country on how we view fitness, sports, and gaming," states Ghouse, elucidating the seismic shift in national consciousness. Centre Court's vision is to capture this transformative moment and leverage it for groundbreaking growth throughout the industry.

Innovating Athletic Performance and Monetization

Strategically, Centre Court is positioning itself at the convergence of technology and athleticism. The fund aims to back technologies that augment athletic performance, enable innovative content creation, and drive monetization strategies. Furthermore, it extends a hand to consumer-facing companies that emphasize sleep, general fitness, and wellness—a testament to the holistic approach the firm is taking.

Within its early transaction foray, Centre Court has already set its course by investing in two pioneering startups that delineate the firm's strategic direction. These young firms specialize in broadcast technology and sports analytics, indicating the keen insight Centre Court holds in recognising and fostering nascent yet potential-laden ventures within the space.

A Syndicate of Seasoned Investors

The backing that Centre Court enjoys comes from a syndicate of illustrious investors, known for their clout and vision within the business and sports industries. Among them is PremjiInvest, followed by entities such as USK Capital, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), GMR Sports, and SG Sports. With this collaborative strength, Centre Court is poised to significantly influence sports tech landscapes in India.

Furthermore, the firm is currently nurturing conversations to bolster gaming studios, which signifies its comprehensive approach to the sports and entertainment technology domains.

Leading with Experience and Expertise

Standing at the helm of Centre Court Capital is Mustafa Ghouse, a former professional tennis player who has previously represented India in international competitions. His leadership is ornamented by his experience in heading the sports division of JSW Group, owned by the Jindal family. During his tenure there, Ghouse oversaw strategic investments in the cricket team Delhi Capitals and other notable franchises, sharpening his insights into the sports industry's complex mechanics.

Complementing Ghouse's acumen is Alok Samtaney, a veteran with a rich history in investment leadership. Serving as a partner at Centre Court, Samtaney brings his experience as a former principal from TVS Capital Funds, to bear on the firm’s strategic moves.

Leveraging Global Insights for Local Impact

Centre Court Capital is not merely a venture fund; it represents a nexus of global business acumen and sports management prowess. The anticipation surrounding its influence stems from both its financial heft and the intellectual capital brought in by its management and backers. In a country where sports enthusiasm is historically entwined with national sentiment, Centre Court's injection of capital and expertise could spark a diffusive effect across various facets of the sports tech industry, from grassroots initiatives to elite performance analytics.

Undoubtedly, the Centre Court Capital fund aims to accelerate the pace of innovation in India's sports technology sector. It's a phased plan that intends not only the direct growth of the startups it invests in but also a broader advancement in how sports, wellness, and gaming are perceived within the subcontinent.

A Vote of Confidence in India's Gaming Boom

Video gaming, in particular, stands as a testament to India's changing cultural and economic visage. The fund's commitment to this sector aligns with the explosive growth of gaming in India, propelled by the increasing penetration of smartphones and enhanced connectivity infrastructure. For Centre Court, investment in gaming studios is more than just a financial move—it is a vote of confidence in the vast potential that Indian game developers hold in shaping new narratives and experiences within the global gaming scene.

Navigating Through a Nascent Ecosystem

Capital deployment by firms such as Centre Court Capital is a telling indicator of the faith and foresight vested in India's nascent sports tech ecosystem. This is a sector still in its formative years, and yet the prospect of an upswing is tangible—a sentiment echoed by the investors and market observers alike. The challenge lies not in finding potential targets but in sculpting out of them the unicorns that will stand as testimonials to technological mastery and market acumen.

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities

The journey ahead for Centre Court Capital is one marked by challenges intrinsic to a developing marketplace. It involves identifying the startups that not only exhibit innovation but also possess the robustness to scale and adapt within a dynamic environment. The firm's role transcends that of a mere financier; it entails becoming a crucible for mentoring young companies through the intricate dance of product development, market fit, and user engagement.

Expanding the Investment Horizon

Current and prospective investments reflect a diversified approach, embracing various facets of the sporting world. Centre Court's horizon isn't limited to a singular aspect of the sports tech domain; it is all-encompassing. By focusing on technologies that bolster athlete performance, create content, and reshape monetization, the fund is tapping into the holistic ecosystem of sports, gaming, and fitness—a spectrum wide enough to drive inclusive growth across several verticals.


As Centre Court Capital gears up to make significant strides in the sports technology and video gaming landscape of India, its approach encapsulates a visionary blend of strategic funding, keen foresight, and seasoned leadership. The emerging sports tech and video game sectors in India are standing on the precipice of transformation, driven by changing consumer patterns and a demographic ripe with potential. Centre Court Capital, with its first fund, is harnessing this potential, eager to shape the future of Indian sports and entertainment technology.

Relevant Links

For more information on Centre Court Capital, click here.

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