The Busy Brains
9 Sept 2023
In a significant development, the founders of Rario, a cricket-focused NFT startup that garnered attention with a $120 million funding round led by India's Dream11 last year, are leaving the company
In a significant development, the founders of Rario, a cricket-focused NFT startup that garnered attention with a $120 million funding round led by India's Dream11 last year, are leaving the company. The departure of Ankit Wadhwa, Rario's CEO, and Sunny Bhanot, the CTO, follows reports of growing investor influence at the startup, with Dream11 as the largest backer. These changes, accompanied by a broader restructuring, have led to role eliminations at Rario.
Rario, whose backers include Alpha Wave Global and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, is facing these shifts at a time when Dream Sports, the parent company of Dream11, is actively seeking cost-cutting measures. One notable aspect of this is the renegotiation of several licensing deals previously inked by Rario in an effort to reduce expenses.
This development comes as a surprise, especially considering Rario's recent fundraising success. Just last year, the startup raised an impressive $120 million in funding and aggressively pursued the rights to sell various cricket-related NFTs on its platform. At that time, it was valued at around $250 million, and its founders even sold a portion of their stakes.
However, the once-promising NFT platform has encountered headwinds in recent quarters as NFTs have faced declining interest and values among consumers worldwide, largely due to economic slowdowns. Rario still maintains partnerships with notable entities, including Tendulkar, Cricket Australia, IPL franchises Gujarat Titan and Punjab Kings, Abu Dhabi T10, Hero Caribbean Premier League, and the Lanka Premier League.