The Japanese investment firm, Dream Incubator, has made its debut investment in India by funding the Udupi – based gaming startup, 99Games along with its (99 Games) existing investors like Kalaari Capital and Ascent Capital. The amount of funding which 99Games received from Dream Incubator is not yet known. Read more on Investments
“The focus for the deployment of funds will be on user acquisition purposes for our global games and to build games for the Indian market, with two female – focused games launching this year, targeting the female age group between 25 and 55”, said Rohith Bhat, founder of 99Games.
99Games is planning to launch two female – focused games in India this year. The first game is a puzzle cum strategy game, based on cooking. The details of the second game, which is to be launched during the second – half of this year, are not yet known. In Bhat’s view, Japanese investment firms like Dream Incubator can provide 99Games with guidance on user acquisition strategies in global and local markets. They can also help 99Games build partnerships with international companies who may be interested in investing in India.
“We want to focus on building games that would have a life time value of 9 to 10 years. Japan, for instance, has created several games that have lasted decades that kind of expertise can be very valuable”, Bhat said.
The most famous game which 99Games has designed so far is Star Chief. The game witnesses more than 1.5 million mobile downloads per month and is played by many youth across the US, UK, Japan, Taiwan and India.
“Star Chief, which has been a global quality product, has raked in revenues of over $15 million. When it comes to the Indian gaming market there is still some years left for it to take off when it comes to monetization. However, going by user acquisition it looks like it is at the cusp of changing since connectivity issues are being addressed and data is getting cheaper”, said Kumar Shiralagi, MD at Kalaari Capital.
Venture capital firms are increasingly investing in mobile gaming startups. The Chinese VC firm, Shun Wei Capital, is in advanced talks with the Indian gaming startup, MechMocha, to invest US $4 million in it. Similarly, during the month of July, last year, SAIF Partners and IDG Ventures invested US $4 million in the mobile gaming startup, PlaySimple, which creates word, trivia and puzzle games targeted at players above the age of 20. Hopefully, this trend of VC firms investing on Indian gaming startups continues so that Indian gaming startups may benefit from it. Read more on Startup News
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