Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ross Perot Jr among investors committing $120 million to MLC

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft and a part-owner of the Seattle Sounders franchise in Major League Soccer, has been introduced as a lead investor in a $44 million Series A and A1 fundraising spherical by Major League Cricket (MLC), the six-team franchise T20 competitors sanctioned by USA Cricket by way of its business companion ACE, which is focused to launch in 2023.

According to a press launch issued by MLC on Wednesday, one other $76 million has been pledged by investors for a complete of $120 million to be utilised primarily for stadium infrastructure tasks over the subsequent a number of years.

“The significant funding committed by an outstanding group of investors will allow Major League Cricket to build first-class facilities and accelerate the sport’s development across the country, bringing world-class professional cricket to the world’s largest sports market,” mentioned Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, co-founders of Major League Cricket, by way of a press launch. “This investor group comprises leading business executives and successful tech entrepreneurs who have led some of the world’s most prominent companies. They bring tremendous experience and expertise in support of MLC’s plans to launch a transformative Twenty20 league and establish America as one of the world’s leading homes for international cricket events.”

Nadella and Soma Somasegar, a former long-time senior vice chairman at Microsoft who’s at the moment the managing director of enterprise capital agency Madrona Venture Group, are majority buyers primarily based out of Seattle. It is there {that a} new stadium venue undertaking is being spearheaded at Marymoor Park within the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Washington. When that venue is full, it’s anticipated to be the house of one of many six anchor franchises for MLC.

“I share the vision Major League Cricket has for the launch of a world-class T20 cricket league and the potential for the United States to become one of the leading cricket nations in the world,” Somasegar mentioned. “I am delighted to be part of a dynamic group of investors who will help the sport reach that level through an unprecedented commitment of resources by MLC to developing the sport.”

Ross Perot Jr and Anurag Jain, the founders of Dallas-based enterprise capital agency Perot Jain, are additionally among the many buyers listed within the newest spherical of fundraising. Airhogs Stadium, a former minor league baseball facility within the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie, Texas that was the first venue acquired for redevelopment by ACE and MLC in 2020, can even turn into the house of one other MLC franchise.

“The ceiling for cricket’s growth in the United States is incredibly high, with the passion for the game at the grassroots level I’ve observed in Texas proof of its potential,” Jain mentioned. “I am proud to be part of a group of investors committed to rapidly accelerating cricket’s progress through Major League Cricket. The plans MLC have laid out to develop infrastructure and build a foundation for professional cricket to thrive nationwide put the sport on a tremendous trajectory and I am excited to support this vision.”

Among the opposite headline buyers recruited by MLC are Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, the founding companions at Millways Ventures and Rocketship VC; Sanjay Govil, the founding father of Infinite Computer Solutions and CEO of Zyter; the Baheti Family, the homeowners of YASH Technologies; and Tanweer Ahmed, the CEO of PAK Foods and the proprietor of the Prairie View Cricket Complex, the biggest turf wicket complicated in America positioned 50 miles northwest of Houston which opened in 2019 and has been usually used to host USA Cricket nationwide championship tournaments. As a part of Ahmed’s PAK Foods model, the entrepreneur and cricket fanatic owns greater than 200 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell franchises unfold between Texas, Colorado and Las Vegas.

Although not listed in Wednesday’s launch, the Knight Riders Group had beforehand been introduced as one of the original lead investors in MLC. They have not too long ago pledged their dedication towards serving to to fund the event of a $30 million facility at Great Park in Irvine, California, which would be the residence of the longer term Knight Riders franchise in MLC.

ESPNcricinfo has realized that the opposite three MLC anchor franchise places for the league’s focused launch date in 2023 are anticipated to be in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. However, there are at the moment no turf wicket venues positioned within the two east coast places as MLC officers proceed to pursue choices as regards to land acquisition and venue improvement in these territories.

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