Big Bull-backed Nazara Technologies becomes India's first gaming company to file for IPO

Nazara Technologies, a Mumbai-based diversified gaming company backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has filed for an IPO for the second time after a failed attempt in 2018.

Nazara Technologies, backed by billionaire-investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala (who's known as the 'Big Bull of Dalal Street') has filed for an IPO.

This is the Mumbai-based gaming company's second attempt to go public after failing to launch the issue in 2018 despite getting approvals from market regulator SEBI.

Nazara, which has diversified interests in esports, cricket simulation games, quiz and trivia apps, skill-based fantasy gaming, and gamified learning, is India's first gaming startup to file a Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with the SEBI.

The public issue is a complete offer for sale of 49,65,476 equity shares by promoters and investors, as per regulatory filings.

Nazara, promoted by Vikash Mittersain, Nitish Mittersain, and Mitter Infotech LLP, also counts IIFL Asset Management, Seedfund2 International, and Plutus Wealth Management among its investors.

Earlier this month, WestBridge Capital(early investor) exited Nazara by selling shares worth Rs 500 crore to Plutus Wealth, and is believed to have got returns of 40X.

L-R: Anupam and Anshu Dhanuka (Co-founders of Kiddopia), with Nitish Mittersain (Founder of Nazara Technologies)

Nazara began its IPO preparations in December 2020 by ensuring that the 'Articles of Association of the Company' conform to the IPO requirements as per the Companies Act, 2013, and directions of relevant stock exchanges prior to its DHRP filing last week.

The company is also conducting an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) at its registered office in Mumbai on January 19 (Tuesday), as per sources.  

Nazara has kicked off what many believe will be the year of Indian tech IPOs, with the likes of Zomato, Nykaa, Delhivery, and PolicyBazaar expected to go public in 2021.

In the last two years, Nazara has made a spate of acquisitions across segments, with India's gaming industry taking rapid strides riding on increased digitisation and the availability of affordable internet.

Its key acquisitions include Halaplay (fantasy gaming), Qunami (quiz and live trivia), Paper Boat Apps (gamified learning for kids), Sportskeeda (sports media), and Bakbuck (vernacular social gaming).

Nazara is eyeing revenues of Rs 470 crore in FY21. That is nearly a 2X growth over FY20. Besides India, the company also a presence in over 60 countries in the world.

"Nazara's initiatives of developing own gaming and esports IPs and distribute them across platforms and the efforts to build capability and capacity to create highly engaging content IPs in last two years are yielding positive results," Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal said in a prior statement.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta


Updates from around the world