Due to the so-called funding winter and a global reset in the technology industry, many consumer internet companies that have been major sponsors and advertisers in previous Indian Premier League (IPL) tournaments are sitting out this year’s edition. Among them are Byju’s, Unacademy, PhonePe, Amazon Prime, Pristyn Care, Zepto, Ather Energy, Niyo, and Spotify.
According to Venture Intelligence data, venture funding into Indian startups fell by a third to $23.9 billion in 2022, down from $35.5 billion in 2021, prompting startups and unicorns to rationalise their costs and cut back on expenditures. According to a report by the industry groups IVCA and EY, venture capital funds’ investments in startups fell by 27% in April 2022, to $1.6 billion over 82 acquisitions.
Over 60 companies signed up as official on-ground partners, streaming partners, and team sponsors for the IPL 2022, representing a surge in startup participation. The official broadcaster, Star Sports, secured 14 sponsors, with eight of them being startups. Associate sponsors include CRED, PhonePe, Spotify, Swiggy Instamart, and Meesho, while Dream11, Tata Neu, and Byju’s are co-presenting sponsors.
Similarly, Dream11, CRED, Tata Neu, Zepto, Spinny, Pristyn Care, Swiggy, RuPay, Ather, Livspace, NiyoX, and Spotify were 12 of the 18 advertisers on Disney+Hotstar. In addition, over 40 startups provided funding to various teams, some of which supported multiple franchises. The IPL 2022 had truly evolved into a startup festival.
Other tech startups that have previously sponsored specific IPL teams, such as Meesho and Cars24, are also skipping the tournament this season. Ather Energy, on the other hand, will continue to work with the Gujarat Titans.
Dream11, Cred, Upstox, and Swiggy Instamart are among the more recent companies to join the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as official IPL partners. According to media reports, some new-economy companies are still negotiating spot advertising deals with broadcasting and streaming platforms rather than signing up as full-time sponsors.