The Octro mobile gaming company — behind popular Indian games like Teen Patti and Rummy — announced today that it has received Series A round funding of $15 million from Sequoia Capital.
Based out of Noida, Octro was founded in 2006 and is today pegged to be the number one mobile gaming company in India with two of its games, Teen Patti and Rummy, among the top 5 games in multiple categories on Google Play Store.
What stands out about the company is the active user base that it has acquired in a very short span. Over 20 lakh engaged users play the games (which are age irrelevant) every day. Octro has also launched Tambola, a mobile game on the lines of the classic game by the same name, which has passed down through generations.
Our games just work! The key to our success has been our robust technology platform that allows for fast gameplay. People simply love our games because we are reimagining games that have existed in the offline world for years and making them available on the mobile for people to play anytime, anywhere, ” said Saurabh Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Octro, who holds an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. He also added that, “It is immensely motivating to see Indian users play our games everywhere, whether it is standing on the road or in their homes. I think we have built a connection with our users.”
A team of 25, Octro is planning to launch more culturally relevant games. In the process, they have also shown that Indians can pay for their apps.
Commenting on this deal, Mohit Bhatnagar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital, said,
Indian games like Tambola, Teen Patti and Rummy have been a part of people’s lives for years. Octro has made these culturally relevant games come to life on the mobile. We look forward to working closely with the team and leveraging our network to help the company scale greater heights.”
This announcement comes close on the heels of last week’s news about Sequoia Capital raising its fourth India focused fund of USD 530 million.
The games seem to have surely found a loyal and growing user-base in India. On the sidelines of this announcement, we spoke to Manan Shah, Co-founder of Betaglide, an app performance startup and also an avid consumer of the Octro app. He says,
Octro has created some fantastic massive multiplayer online games that are indigenous to India and have found huge traction in a very short time. For such games, creating the platform is the biggest challenge and Octro has definitely cracked it by getting more than 5 million downloads in less than a year.”
Incidentally, mobile games and applications in India are expected to become a Rs. 2,700-crore market by 2016, driven by strong smartphone growth and expanding 3G user-base, according to an Avendus Capital report.