Dream11 revamps Rario’s leadership

Sunny Bhanot, chief technology officer, Rario.
Sunny Bhanot, chief technology officer, Rario.


Dream Sports, the parent company of fantasy sports platform Dream11, has ousted the co-founders of Digital Collectibles, the cricket NFT startup it invested in last year.

Mumbai: Dream Sports, the parent of fantasy sports platform Dream11 and a leading entity in sports technology, has ousted the co-founders of Digital Collectibles, which operates Rario, a cricket NFT startup in which it had invested last year.

The decision came after a board meeting last week, leading to the removal of chief executive Ankit Wadhwa and chief technology officer Sunny Bhanot from their roles with immediate effect. In addition to the leadership changes, Dream Sports is also looking at a significant restructuring of the NFT (non-fungible token) startup and has let go approximately 60% of its workforce, highlighting the depth of the internal conflicts and challenges.

“There was a board meeting on Wednesday, following which Harsh Jain (co-founder of Dream Sports) fired the founder and co-founder of Rario. More than 60% of staff also got laid off," said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. A second person confirmed that there were some disputes and disagreements related to the fulfilment of commitments by Rario, prompting Dream Sports to step in.

In July 2023, Rario terminated a contract with Innovative Production Group (IPG) for the Lanka Premier League (LPL). Calling the termination a “clear violation of the contractual terms and constitutes an act of bad faith," IPG sent a notice to Rario, seeking $400,000 as compensation for the damages caused by the termination. Mint has accessed the notice.

“There were many such instances of non-payment or failure to fulfil commitments from Rario to many of its partners. It reached a level where those partners started reaching out to Dream Sports, a majority holder in Rario. Dream Sports runs a very clean and fair business and can’t be seen as associated with a company which goes back on its contractual obligations. So, while the legal team of Dream Sports is looking into it, a decision was taken to remove the Rario founders," the second person said. A Dream Sports spokesperson declined to comment, while Wadhwa did not respond to a query.

IPG, in its notice, highlighted, “Under the agreement, both parties were bound by their respective obligations, and IPG has diligently fulfilled its obligations throughout the partnership. It is unequivocally evident that IPG has adhered to its contractual commitments and upheld the highest standards of performance. The termination of the agreement, merely two days before the commencement of the Lanka Premier League tournament, exhibits a blatant disregard for IPG’s rights and interests. This untimely termination has gravely impacted IPG, tarnishing its reputation and causing irreparable harm to the arrangements and investments made for the LPL tournament. Consequently, we assert that Digital Collectibles’ actions have given rise to significant damages incurred by IPG. We...demand that Digital Collectibles provide immediate restitution in the amount of $400,000 as compensation for the damages caused by the termination."

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