Startups & VCs

ONE Championship secures fresh investment

Sequoia India and Mission Holdings invest in Asia's leading MMA promotion.

by Michael Long

ONE Championship secures fresh investment

Asian MMA promotion ONE Championship has secured equity investment from a group led by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital India and Mission Holdings, according to The Associated Press.

While specific financial details of the investment have not been disclosed, the AP reports that the Series C cash injection, which includes financing from other new and existing investors, means the Singapore-based ONE Championship has now raised more than US$100 million in total capital since its first show less than six years ago.

Last year the promotion secured funding from a consortium led by Heliconia Capital Management, an investment vehicle backed by Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

Sequoia Capital India is the Indian branch of Sequoia Capital, the US venture capital firm that has previously invested in the likes of Apple, Google, PayPal, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo!, WhatsApp and other prominent tech companies.

Mission Holdings is a strategic investment firm focused on financial services, media, real estate and technology. Based in Singapore, it is led by billionaire entrepreneur and investor Saurabh Mittal.

"ONE Championship has been a pioneer and major driving force of the martial arts industry in Asia, with surging popularity across major countries," said Shailendra J Singh, the managing director of Sequoia Capital India.

"It has played an incredible role in nurturing local talent and developing local stars, led by a wonderful, mission-oriented team. We are delighted to join the team in their pursuit of developing the leading martial arts franchise for Asia's 4.4 billion people.”

Mittal added: "In six short years, ONE Championship has become Asia's top global sports brand in history. While we are delighted to have been a part of this journey as partners since the beginning, we are equally thrilled to have such a storied, successful venture capital firm like Sequoia join as fellow shareholders.

"With this equity investment led by Sequoia and Mission Holdings, ONE Championship is well on its way to becoming Asia's first multibillion dollar sports media property."

The AP reports that funds from the new investment will be used to drive ONE Championship’s expansion and help build upon the promotion’s goal of being Asia’s preeminent MMA property.

Chatri Sityodtong (pictured), ONE Championship’s founder and chairman, has said the promotion hopes to stage between 24 and 30 shows next year, with aggressive expansion planned for China, Japan, South Korea and eventually India.

"ONE Championship has arguably the most blue-chip institutional shareholder group in the sports media industry in Asia today," said Sityodtong. "The combination of Sequoia, Mission Holdings, and Heliconia Capital Management creates a meaningful competitive advantage for ONE Championship."