Omidyar Group to exit India; Doubling down on Indian gaming

Omidyar Network India is exiting India after a decade of operations. US games publisher Riot Games is looking to actively engage with the gaming community in India. KPIT Technologies, with centres in Europe, the US, Japan, and China, is looking to expand into new markets.

Omidyar Group to exit India; Doubling down on Indian gaming

Wednesday December 13, 2023,

5 min Read

Hello,

Reliance and Disney join hands. 

Walt Disney Co. and Reliance Industries are expected to sign a non-binding pact as early as next week by Monday to merge their media operations in India in a cash-and-stock deal, Bloomberg reported.

If the deal goes through, Reliance will hold at least 51% of the merged entity, while Disney will hold the rest—in what will be one of the largest media behemoths in India.

In other news, CoinSwitch is consolidating all its business segments under a new umbrella brand—PeepalCo—which will serve as the parent for various entities, including CoinSwitch and CoinSwitch PRO, a yet-to-be-launched platform focusing on "newer investment classes," and a wealth-management division for HNIs.

Meanwhile, according to a Redseer report, the democratised digital ecosystem, fuelled by Digital Public Infrastructures (DPIs), has led to the number of Indian startups surging over 100X from 2016 to 2023. 

DPIs share a symbiotic relationship with the startup ecosystem, contributing over $100 billion in value across various sectors of the Indian internet economy, the report said.

ICYMI: Researchers have unearthed a well-preserved skull of a gigantic pliosaur, a prehistoric sea monster, on England’s ‘Jurassic Coast’.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Omidyar Network India to shut shop
  • Doubling down on Indian gaming
  • KPIT’s auto innovation focus

Here’s your trivia for today: What sports were women allowed to play in the Olympics for the first time?


Investor

Omidyar Network India to shut shop

Impact investment firm Omidyar Network India, which has a dual-chequebook investment model, is exiting India after a decade of operations. Omidyar Group's India-specific entity will not make any new investments going ahead, though it will be closing follow-on rounds committed to date, according to a source familiar with the developments.

Looking back:

  • Omidyar Group has had a presence in India since 2010 and has made investments of over $500 million, with nearly 70% of them directed at for-profit investments, earning returns of $250 million.
  • Omidyar Network India was hived off from the parent entity in 2019 as an autonomous investment advisory firm, focused on India-specific investment thesis and separate investment team.
  • It has invested in the likes of mobility company Bounce, SME financing company Indifi, e-pharmacy 1MG, which was acquired by Tata Digital, and others.
Omidyar Network India

Omidyar Network India


Funding Alert

Startup: Nat Habit

Amount: $10.2M

Round: Series B

Startup: Aliste Technologies

Amount: $1M

Round: Equity

Startup: BetterSpace

Amount: Rs 45 lakh

Round: Pre-Seed


Gaming

Riot Games, Nazara double down on India

US games publisher Riot Games is looking to actively engage with the gaming community in India, said Arun Rajappa, Country Manager, India and South Asia, Riot Games. It is now set to host its first-ever international Valorant esports competition in the country—in Bengaluru, from December 14.

Meanwhile, Nazara Technologies wants to encourage more Made-in-India games with its new publishing vertical, Nazara Publishing, to help developers make games for both PC and mobile.

Gaming landscape:

  • Rajappa said the Northeast region is one of the biggest gaming hubs in the country for the publisher. Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata are also big in terms of number of gamers engaged with Valorant.
  • Riot Games' active push in the country comes at a time when many international titles like KRAFTON's Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and Garena's Free Fire are set to return to India.
  • Also, Nazara Technologies has onboarded 100 developers and received about 100 applications under its publishing programme, Nitish Mittersain, Founder, CEO, and Joint Managing Director, tells YourStory in an exclusive interview.
Esports gaming

Photo: Unsplash


Automobile

KPIT doubles down on auto innovation

Pune-based auto tech company KPIT Technologies, with centres in Europe, the US, Japan, and China, is looking to expand into new markets in Southeast Asia and Europe, as well as invest more in commercial vehicle operations. 

The company is set to launch its sodium-ion battery technology, which it says, offers 3X faster charging and is more cost-effective than the lithium-ion counterpart.

Tech integration:

  • “The future in automotive is software on wheels, what we call software-defined vehicles or SDVs today,” says Kishor Patil, CEO and Managing Director of KPIT Technologies.
  • KPIT has been increasingly focused on developing hyper-personalisation features, including locating parking spots in an area, as well as using AI to recognise and interpret street signals, to name a few.
  • The company also works with its partners to design, develop, and eventually stress test a range of EV-related technologies, including onboard battery charging software, etc.
SDV


News & updates

  • Inflation: India's retail inflation in November rose at its fastest pace in three months due to higher food prices, strengthening expectations that the RBI will not ease interest rates anytime soon. Annual retail inflation rose to 5.55% in November from 4.87% the previous month. 
  • Wins: A jury sided with Epic Games, creator of the popular online game Fortnite, over Google in an antitrust case that could reshape how app marketplaces like Google Play are allowed to operate. The unanimous verdict wraps up a three-year-long legal battle between the companies. 
  • Did you know: Nearly one in five teenagers in the US are glued to YouTube and TikTok, saying they use the video-streaming apps “almost constantly,” a survey by the Pew Research Center revealed. It showed that YouTube was the most “widely used platform”, with 93% of survey respondents saying they regularly use it. 


What sports were women allowed to play in the Olympics for the first time?

Answer: Tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism, and golf. 

According to IOC, Women competed for the first time at the 1900 Games in Paris. Of a total of 997 athletes, 22 women competed in these five sports.


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