MPL India’s operating revenue zoomed 36% to INR 814 Cr in FY23 from INR 601 Cr in the previous year
The Peak XV Partners-backed startup narrowed its total expenditure by 13% to INR 919.8 Cr, led by a 42% decline in advertising expenses to INR 305 Cr
Earlier this year, MPL fired 350 employees following the GST Council’s decision to levy 28% GST on full face value for online gaming companies
The Indian entity of gaming unicorn MPL narrowed its loss by over 80% in the financial year ended March 31, 2023, as expenses declined despite the rise in business. The Peak XV Partners-backed startup reported a net loss of INR 87.2 Cr in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23) as against a loss of INR 449.4 Cr in the previous financial year.
Founded in 2018 by Sai Srinivas Kiran G and Shubh Malhotra, MPL offers various games ranging from skill-based fantasy sports to chess and other casual games.
The Bengaluru-based startup entered the unicorn club in September 2021 after raising $150 Mn from Legatum Capital, Accrete Capital and Gaingels LLC at a pre-money valuation of $2.3 Bn.
It must be noted that the financial numbers are related only to the performance of MPL’s India entity and does not include the figures from its performance in other countries.
MPL India’s operating revenue zoomed 36% to INR 814 Cr in FY23 from INR 601 Cr in the previous year. The startup primarily earns revenue from the platform fees it charges from users for fantasy gaming tournaments.
Including other income, total income rose 36.4% to INR 832.6 Cr from INR 610.1 Cr in the previous fiscal year.
MPL’s Expenses Under Lens
Total expenses declined 13% to INR 919.8 Cr in FY23 from INR 1,059.6 Cr in the previous fiscal year.
Advertising Expense Falls: The startup’s advertising expenses fell sharply by 42% to INR 305 Cr in FY23 from INR 530 Cr in the previous fiscal year.
Employee Benefit Expense Decline: Employee benefit expense dropped 14% to INR 170.4 Cr in FY23 from INR 197.7 Cr in FY22. It must be noted that the startup has laid off around 450 employees in two rounds of layoffs in the ongoing financial year so far.
IT Expenses Rise: MPL India’s IT expenses increased 49% to INR 207.9 Cr in FY23 as compared to INR 139.2 Cr in FY22.
MPL has raised a little over $350 Mn in funding till date and counts SIG Global, Pegasus Tech Ventures, and RTP Global among its backers.
In May, the startup forayed into the fast-growing African gaming market with the launch of its app in Nigeria. It pulled out from Indonesia in May last year as it was unable to generate enough revenue.
MPL also runs a sports merchandise platform MPL Sports and a gaming studio – Mayhem. Earlier this year, the gaming studio bagged $20 Mn in its Series A funding round led by Peak XV Partners, with participation from Steadview Capital, Truecaller and others.
MPL was the first gaming startup in the country to resort to employee layoffs following the GST Council’s decision this year to levy 28% GST on full face value on fees collected by gaming platforms. MPL fired 350 employees in August, saying the new tax levy has increased the tax burden on the company by as much as 350-400%.
MPL competes against the likes of Dream11, Fantasy Akhada, WinZO Games, among others.