Steve Smith Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals rope in multiple global investors in fresh funding round

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In a fresh funding round conducted recently, Rajasthan Royals have brought the creator of the Laver Cup in tennis, the CEO of British Telecom, the founder of Betfair to invest in the franchise via lead stakeholder Emerging Media IPL Limited (EMIPL), which is owned by Manoj Badale.

With EMIPL now raising the investors, Badale has now become the leading investor in the Royal with over 50% stake. But the franchise decided not to disclose the funding amount but added that Ian McKinnon, BT CEO Phil Jansen, FutureLearn and Network International Chairman Ron Kalifa and Betfair founder Ed Wray have their money invested.

“Funds were raised from a small number of new individual investors, including Ian McKinnon, one of the founding partners of TEAM8, a leading sports and entertainment company and the creator of the Laver Cup, UK business leaders including BT CEO Phil Jansen, FutureLearn and Network International Chairman Ron Kalifa and Betfair founder Ed Wray have invested, as well as Arizona-based tech entrepreneurs Kal Somani, Simer Mayo and Mihir Patel,” the franchise said in a media release on Friday.

With the team now having its own free window for nearly two months in the Indian summer, Badale said the growing appeal of the IPL globally have attracted the investors to recognise the value of sports franchises.

“Investors are now recognising the value of sports franchises. EMIPL’s increased ownership of the franchise and expanded network of US-based, value-add investors presents an exciting opportunity to drive the growth of both the Rajasthan Royals and the IPL.”

Royals appoint Mike Fordham as new CEO

At the time of announcing the investment, Royals have also declared the new CEO with Mike Fordham taking over the charge. Fordham was a part of the International Management Group (IMG) team that helped the IPL take off in 2008. Fordham also helped the ECB in “development” of The Hundred, which is scheduled to start this summer in England.