How Tamasha is building a live gaming community to play, host and win

The uniqueness of this live community platform is to garner revenues with active engagement of micro and nano influencers from Tier II and Tier III cities. It provides opportunities to host live games over the web using Tamasha’s platform.

With the pandemic-induced lockdown restricting social interactions and other activities, people looked at ways and means to fulfil their needs for connecting, engaging and competing with others. Tapping into the hidden desires of people to engage through gaming, entrepreneurs Saurabh Gupta and Siddharth Swarnkar launched their online gaming platform Tamasha Live.

Most users on Tamasha belong to Tier II and Tier III cities of India with limited options of entertainment in comparison to the bigger cities. Tamasha’s founders wanted to seize this gap and build upon an experience, where people could actively interact through games in their own regional dialect. This, indeed, was game changing for like-minded communities. The uniqueness of this live community platform is to garner revenues with active engagement of micro and nano influencers from Tier II and Tier III cities. It provides opportunities to host live games over the web using Tamasha’s platform.

The start-up launched its first online version in November 2020. Subsequently, monetisation was plausible through real money gaming, virtual gifting and ads. The existing payment platforms came in handy with engagement over established WhatsApp or Zoom platforms with opportunities to win up to Rs 1 crore daily with a slogan Ab Saara India Khelega aur Jeetega".

With the current statistics and estimates, it has been able to draw over 5 lakh users, who have downloaded the app in android package (APK) version. These downloads are from third party sources, while over 800,000 users have registered with Tamasha’s platform. It hosts five different games in English language, which are both in live audio and video formats.

The founders’ story

Combining their experience in gaming and agent-led business, the two founders of Tamasha, Saurabh and Siddharth, batchmates from college, were able to close on latent opportunities in the areas they are most passionate about.

Saurabh holds a B.Tech degree from IIT Bombay. He has worked with organisations like Optimystix, In10Media Group, and Redice Films in different functional and strategic areas, like product management and game production. His expertise ranges in developing innovative interactive entertainment solutions by applying learnings from game-based design, utilizing the latest technology. In a short duration, Saurabh has mastered his journey in advertising, ad production, television and gaming.

Siddhartha Swarnkar, also a B.Tech holder from IIT Bombay, is a professionally skilled technical specialist at product development and has owned several products during his professional career. As a product manager with GroMo, he handled an early-stage start-up, working closely with customers, figuring out real time problems. He worked with Paytm and was the product owner of Paytm Assist with hands-on expertise in AI / ML.

The start-up has made popular games in an interactive mode. With a simple integration, the Tamasha’s wrapper converts any existing game into a fun-filled interactive one, comprising real money. There is a live streaming, live chat, followed by prize distribution and virtual gifting. Through Tamasha, the entrepreneurs have built a platform expendable for game developers. The creators can choose a schedule, and hence, host games on a live stream. Besides this, the players while interacting through live chats and audio rooms during the contest, can tip a creator, and at the same time, the creator can give away from his end.

The start-up intends to provide employment opportunities in Tier II and Tier II cities. Engaging with Tier II and Tier II influencers as the target market, it is a positive step towards skilling India, while providing people to interact with digital engagement trough games in their own dialect. Tamasha, since its existence, has attracted and hired engineers, data scientists and key support experts, besides acquiring creators and users.

Exploring India’s gaming landscape

According to a KPMG report, there is a rising trend in Indians turning to online gaming from 360 million in 2020 to 510 million in 2022. Hence, the market is expected to scale at a compounded growth rate of 21% and clocking USD 3.84 billion in the next five years. Moreover, gaming platforms are accelerating in building a gaming ecosystem, supporting creators and developers, who constitute a major role.

The gaming industry in India is in its nascent stage as compared to US and China. It is 1 percent of the global gaming market, generating around $1.5 billion but expected to triple, crossing over $5 billion by 2025. This is likely to be an outcome of the online gaming industry nudging gamers in building social connections with other users, creating a chance in winning real money. These could be two potential reasons for this industry’s growth trajectory. Blockchain technology followed by cryptocurrency is yet another reason for attracting gamers in leveraging this industry, which if extrapolated, is expected to generate revenues in excess of Rs 29,000 crore by 2025, crossing nearly 65.7 crore users. This is likely to get supported from the digital world advancing from 3G-4G and 5G, which is destined to alter industry standards in gaming. AI/ML/IoT and other technological advancements shall fuel the growth of this gaming industry.

Funding status

The startup has raised seed funding in November 2020 for Rs 2.5 crore from 9Unicorns, Kunal Bahl (Co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal), and Rohit Bansal of Titan Capital and FirstCheque. In October 2021, they raised Rs 22.5 crores in pre-series A funding led by Chiratae Ventures. During this round, there was a participation from global venture capitalists and angel investors like Incubate Fund India, 9Unicorns, Good Capital, Founderbank Capital, FirstCheque, PointOne Capital,, individual like Nitish Mittersain (founder, Nazara technologies), Siddhartha Jain (Founder, PlaySimple), Navkiran Singh (Founder, Baazi Games), Harsh Shah (Co-founder, Fynd), and Ramakant Sharma (Co-founder, Livspace).

This is a sunrise industry, which Saurabh and Siddharth, with their dynamic capabilities and a fusion of innovative practices, are geared to venture upon. Surely, in their entrepreneurial journey, they are bound to set new standards in this gaming business. They have a clear intention to build Tamasha, as a community, engaged to play, host and win.


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