Sachin Tendulkar-backed Smaaash Entertainment has raised INR 280 crore ($ 44 million) for its overseas expansion and fresh acquisitions.
A major portion of this investment comes from Edelweiss Group’s NBFC ECL Finance, which has invested INR 258 crore through debt. The other INR 22 is promoters’ contribution via equity, according to a Livemint report. The company has been looking to set up centres in the US and in the Middle East in cities like Dubai and Jeddah.
Funds will primarily be used for overseas expansion of the business and for acquisitions, the report suggests.
The company, targeting an inorganic growth, last month had announced the acquisition of bowling joint venture bluO entertainment from PVR Ltd, India’s biggest movie exhibitor, and Major Cineplex Group, for INR 86 crore in an all-cash deal.
The deal will enable Smaaash to increase its operational area to around 600,000 sq. ft from 276,000 sq. ft, the company had said in a statement. All the centres will operate under Smaaash branding. Plans were afoot to open two more centres.
Smaaash has taken up full stake in SVM Bowling and Gaming ealier this week. The acquisition adds 13 centres to Smaaash’s blueprint in the cities of Hyderabad, Mysore, Madurai, Vijayawada, Mangalore and Pune. This increases Smaaash’s presence across 13 cities in India through 26 centres, besides the one centre in the Mall of America – the largest mall in the US.
Smaaash, in the business of sports-centric digital entertainment, has centres for games like cricket, football, go-karting, bowling and various other virtual games in c Mumbai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Bengaluru.
Smaaash was started by brokerage firm Sherkhan promoter Shripal Morakhia in 2012 with its first centre of over 40,000 sq. ft in Mumbai.
This is not the first round of institutional fund-raising for Smaaash. In 2014, it raised INR 65 crore from sports-focused investment firm FidelisWorld, which invested through its first fund FW Sports Investment Fund LP.
In August 2016, the company had raised Rs150 crore from Piramal Enterprises Ltd’s Structured Financing Group.