Rakesh Jhunjhunwala sees 'growth potential' in Nazara Technologies, which runs mobile gaming subscription services and is operational in 61 countries.
Veteran investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, considered to be India's richest and biggest investor, has invested Rs 180 crore and gained a minority stake in Mumbai-based mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies. The company had raised $51 million from IIFL Asset Management earlier this month.
Operational in 61 countries across emerging markets, Nazara runs mobile gaming subscription services. Their customer base comprises largely first-time mobile gamers across Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, Latin America and the Indian subcontinent.
In India, Nazara has licensed mobile gaming rights to popular IPs like Virat Kohli, Hrithik Roshan, Chhota Bheem, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Motu Patlu, Mighty Raju, Tinkle characters and Chacha Choudhary.
In a press release, Nitish Mittersain, Managing Director and Founder, Nazara Technologies, said that onboarding Rakesh Jhunjhunwala as an investor in Nazara is a great validation of value augmentation delivered by Nazara for its existing shareholders.
The statement also quoted Rakesh Jhunjhunwala,
“I am always on the lookout for promising companies, which are leaders in high growth verticals. Nazara is a leading company in the mobile games business. Nazara has a consistent track record of delivering profits, cash flows, along with efficient use of capital and high ROE. I see a growth potential in the company.”
Jhunjhunwala is currently partner at his asset management firm Rare Enterprises and is among the 100 richest persons in India according to the Forbes list.
Launched in 2000 by Nitish Mittersain, Nazara became profitable in 2007. It counts Sequoia Capital and WestBridge Capital among its investors. In 2013, the company acquired mobile gaming company Djuzz and mobile social networking company MyGamma. In 2015, it acquired another mobile gaming company Matchup Cricket.
Nazara has invested in London-based gaming companies MasterMind Sports and Truly Social, which builds women-focused games. In 2014, mobile game developer Hash Cube became the first investment with its Rs 10 crore Game Fund, which supports startups in the mobile gaming space.
Nazara crossed over 34 million downloads on Google Play store in 2017 with over 10 million monthly active users in September 2017 across its network of games on Google Play Store. In September, it was reported that Nazara was aiming for a Rs 1,000 crore IPO, which will be the biggest in the gaming industry.