India's gaming sector attracted investments worth $544M during Aug 2020-Jan 2021: Report

A report by Maple Capital Advisors says a plethora of investors is looking to deploy funds in India's gaming sector, and that consumer traction and engagement is likely to accelerate.
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The gaming sector in India attracted $544 million in investments during the August 2020-January 2021 period. This is set to double over the next 12-18 months on the back of higher user awareness and accelerated engagement, as per a report by Maple Capital Advisors.

With more than 400 million gamers, a plethora of investors is looking to deploy funds in the sector, and with over 15 percent of the global gaming traffic, Indian gaming market is at an inflexion point.

"We believe gaming is now at an inflexion point with greater investment and consumer traction. With growth-oriented private equities now participating and the first meaningful IPO around the corner, gaming is poised to attract greater capital across stages, and we expect increased cross-border M&A," Maple Capital Advisors founder and MD Pankaj Karna said.

He added that investments in the sector were expected to double in the next 12-18 months.

Greater awareness and engagement

"Consumer traction (15 percent of global traffic) on the back of greater awareness and engagement is likely to accelerate. Also, clearer category leaders are likely to emerge. We expect improved regulatory coverage or judicial clarity, especially in the real money gaming space," he said.

As per the report, growth capital funds like Chrys Capital and TPG participated and numerous others have started to look at the sector.

Early-stage investments have spanned actively on e-sports and casual gaming and are witnessing good growth, it added.

Some of the big investments include $225 million investment in Dream11 (September 2020), $90 million in Mobile Premier League (November 2020), and $68 million in Nazara Technologies (January 2021).

The report said the sector was likely to see multiple unicorns as investment accelerates in the space.

E-sports gaming ecosystems are likely to see greater traction, while some games may see dip in traction as COVID ends and people head back to work, the report added.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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