Meet Nazara, The Budding Gaming Startup
Nazara being the first Indian gaming tech company to file for IPO shows how the growth of the gaming world is speeding up.
What Is Nazara?
Nazara Technologies Ltd was founded by gamer Nitish Mittersain in 2000, but it got derailed during the dot-com bust. The gaming technology company is backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Plutus Wealth Management, IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, Turtle Entertainment are its major investors.
During its first decade, the company spent all its time clearing debt but later, steadily built market share by buying fellow gaming startups. The firm was among the first entrants in the Indian market in eSports (via Nodwin) and cricket simulation (via Nextware). The company has operations in more than 60 countries across emerging markets including India, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and Latin America.
The firm owns some of the most recognisable IP (Intellectual Property) and the list includes WCC and CarromClash in mobile games, Kiddopia in gamified early learning, Nodwin and Sportskeed in eSports and eSports media and Halaplay Technologies Private Limited (Halaplay) and Qunami in skill-based, fantasy and trivia games.
Last Friday, Nazara Technologies Ltd filed initial public offering (IPO) documents. With this filing, Nazara becomes the first Indian gaming technology company to file for an IPO. The IPO is a complete offer for sale (OFS) of 49,65,476 equity shares by promoters and investors. The issue’s book running lead managers are ICICI Securities, IIFL Securities, Jefferies India and Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities India.
Drivers Of Growth
The important thing to note here is that Nazara will be the first Indian gaming tech firm to ever go public. But what led to the growth of the company?
Rise In Smartphone Users: The major thing that led to the growth of mobile gaming startups is the arrival of cheap smartphones as well as wireless data. The increase in smartphones helped India to get a place among the top five mobile gaming markets in the world on the basis of the user base. According to an EY report, among the media & entertainment (M&E) sub-sectors, online gaming witnessed the highest growth rate of 39.8% in 2019 from the previous year.
Boost By The Pandemic: The Chairperson of the Indian Game Developers Conference (IDGC) told Businessline, “As people deal with the lockdown, gaming has emerged as an important tool for people to keep in touch with their families, relatives and friends. This has resulted in a tremendous growth in the number of players”. He also said that the India’s gaming industry is anticipated to grow to $4–5 billion in the next three to five years.
Ban On Chinese Apps: When the government banned Chinese apps last July, two popular games — “Clash of Kings” and “Mobile of Legends” left our country. Then, the other famous game called PUBG was banned. When these apps were banned, industry experts said that the ban is helping in creating trials / giving developers an opportunity. Some experts even said that even their platforms witnessed growth after the ban
Nazara’s IPO might be the first in its category, but it definitely wouldn’t be the last. According to Statista, the market value of India’s gaming sector is expected to grow more than ₹25,000 crore by 2024 and the number of people employed in the sector is anticipated to be over 40,000. Meanwhile, the market value of mobile gaming may grow around ₹2,965.4 crore by 2022. So, the market is huge and there are countless opportunities to be capitalised on.
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