[Funding alert] Reliance Jio leads Series A round in AR gaming startup Krikey

Reliance Jio has made its first gaming bet. It has funded San Francisco-based startup Krikey, which develops AR-based mobile games.
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Reliance Jio has led an undisclosed Series A round in Augmented Reality (AR) gaming startup Krikey. With this round, Krikey's total funding stands at $22 million.

As part of the deal, San Francisco-based Krikey has released an AR-based action adventure game called 'Yaatra' in India. The game is live on both Android and iOS platforms; Jio users will get exclusive access to 3D avatars, gameplay tokens, etc.

“Using weapons such as the bow and arrow, chakra, lightning and fire bolts, players can battle through different levels of combat and puzzle games,” Krikey stated.

Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio, said in a statement,

“Krikey will inspire a generation of Indians to embrace Augmented Reality. Our vision is to bring the best experiences from across the world to India and the introduction of Yaatra is a step in that direction. AR gaming takes the user into a world of its own, and we invite every Jio and non-Jio user to experience AR through Yaatra.”

This is Jio's first investment in a gaming startup. In the past, it had acquired AI startup Haptik, music streaming service Saavn, and Mixed Reality startup Tesseract.

AR game Yaatra developed by Krikey

Krikey was founded in 2017 by sisters and Stanford alumni Ketaki and Jhanvi Shriram. The duo set out to create a Virtual Reality gaming experience, but soon realised that the cost of VR headsets was prohibitive and adoption was slow.

Hence, Krikey turned its attention towards AR-based gaming, which was gaining traction in different parts of the world. After three years of product development, the Krikey app went live in February 2020.

"Krikey is an Australian slang expression of excitement or awe at seeing something remarkable. Our hope is that our users feel this same emotion when experiencing AR in the Krikey app," the founders told Meaww (a tech and lifestyle publication) at the time.

Krikey blends technology, storytelling, and art to create a compelling gaming experience for mobile users.

"Our vision with Krikey is to bring together inspiration and reality in an immersive way. With augmented reality, we are able to bring fantasy worlds into your home, straight through the window of your mobile phone," the founders said in a joint statement.

The startup has built two other games: Gorillas in association with the The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Foundation, and Wingspan in partnership with Stonemaier Games and the National Audubon Society.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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