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Sachin Tendulkar-backed Smaaash looks to raise US$ 30 million to fund expansion

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Sachin Tendulkar-backed sports-based entertainment firm Smaaash is in talks to raise US$ 30 million (over Rs 200 crore) to fund its expansion plans in India.

According to a PTI report: It plans to invest Rs 250 crore over the next two years, including its investment into a digital platform for online gaming, for expansion of its footprint across the country, a top company official said.

“We are about to close a round of funding. We are looking at raising US$ 30 million. We will use this sum to fund our expansion plans,” Smaaash Chairman Shripal Morakhia told PTI.

The company so far has raised Rs 150 crore from high networth individual investors and private equity firm Fidelis World.

Smaaash plans to open close to 90 centres to have a network of 120 outlets across India by the financial year 2020. It is also looking at expanding in overseas markets, including West Asia and the US this year through franchise agreements, Morakhia said.

“Smaaash over the past five years has driven the gaming market in India to exponential level and is now aiming to take this forward outside India. We are looking to fill the much- needed gap for experiential entertainment with initial focus on Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the US,” he told PTI.

In the US, the first Smaaash centre was opened at Mall of America Minneapolis in 2017. The company plans to open 24 new centres in India this year.

Smaaash owns and operates sports-centric digital entertainment centres for games including cricket, football, go-karting and bowling.

The company is also looking at manifold jump in its turnover to Rs 600 crore by fiscal year 2020 from 150 crore reported in the previous financial year.

Last month, Smaaash also acquired bowling joint venture bluO entertainment from PVR Ltd, India’s biggest movie exhibitor, and Major Cineplex Group, for Rs 86 crore in an all-cash deal. At present, there are 36 Smaaash centres in India in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bhopal, Mangalore, Madurai, Gwalior and Mysore.

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