June 12, 2024

Billion-Dollar Unicorn Nazara Technologies Raises Rs 250 Crore from Zerodha Founder

The funding round saw participation from Nikhil Kamath’s of Zerodha VC firms, Kamath Associates and NKSquared, which have increased their stake in Nazara to 3.93%. Other major investors include ICICI Securities, Plutus Wealth Management, and Chartered Finance. Nazara plans to utilize the funds for strategic acquisitions, investments, and growth initiatives as it scales up operations across business verticals.

Nazara’s Billion-Dollar Journey

Incorporated in 1999, Nazara started out by developing mobile games for feature phones. The company has come a long way since then, expanding into segments like eSports, edutainment, infotainment, and gamified early learning.

Some of Nazara’s apps, like World Cricket Championship, Chhota Bheem Race, and Motu Patlu games, have seen tremendous adoption over the years. The company went public in March 2021 and was valued at over $830 million on listing day.

Within two years of listing, Nazara’s market cap crossed the $2 billion mark, putting it in the coveted unicorn club. The firm has made over 20 acquisitions, including companies like Nodwin Gaming and SportsKeeda, to boost growth. Under the leadership of founder Nitish Mittersain, Nazara is pursuing an aggressive consolidation strategy to widen its portfolio.

Funding to Propel Nazara’s Global Ambitions

The latest funding round comes on the back of a stellar Q2 FY2024 performance where Nazara’s revenues grew 17% to Rs 297 crore. With the fresh capital and backing of marquee investors, the company is gearing up to go global.

Nazara aims to establish itself as a leading India-based gaming and sports media company worldwide through organic and inorganic routes. The firm is targeting 33% CAGR growth to reach Rs 2,000 crore in revenues by FY2026.

Apart from the Indian subcontinent, Nazara plans to tap markets like Africa and North America that offer huge potential for mobile gaming. The company is also looking to expand its international sports media footprint by acquiring gaming and eSports assets globally.

To drive growth, Nazara plans to continue investing in gaming startups and eSports companies. The firm aims to nurture the ecosystem while benefiting from the sectoral upswing around sports media and gaming. With the trust of investors like Nikhil Kamath and ICICI Securities, Nazara is set to scale greater peaks in the coming years.

Way Forward for India’s Gaming Unicorn

The breakneck growth of mobile gaming and fantasy sports has created a multi-billion dollar opportunity in India. As a homegrown startup with global ambitions, Nazara Technologies is well-positioned to capitalize on this potential.

Nazara aims to build an integrated gaming, sports media, and gamified early learning ecosystem. Through its well-recognized IPs like WCC and CarromClash, Nazara has developed strong traction amongst mobile gamers.

The company is now venturing into social gaming and blockchain-based games to target Web 3.0 experiences. Nazara also plans to ride on the eSports boom in India by organizing more tournaments and events under Nodwin Gaming.

With quality acquisitions like Paper Boat Apps and Bakbuck, the firm is widening its early learning audience. Sports media platform SportsKeeda offers significant potential to drive fan engagement via interactive content.

Thanks to its diversified business model and funding from acclaimed investors, Nazara seems set to hit bigger milestones in the next growth phase. The company’s journey from building mobile games in 1999 to a billion-dollar startup today reflects the coming of age of India’s gaming industry.

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