Rakesh Jhunjhunwala invests Rs 180 Cr in Nazara games, acquires stake

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Veteran investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has invested Rs 180 crore in mobile game publisher Nazara Technologies. He also acquired a minority stake in the company which is eying IPO by early next year. However, it did not disclose the size of the stake.

The Mumbai-based mobile game developer company will use the latest proceeds for distribution of mobile games across emerging markets.

On his first digital bet, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said “I am always on the lookout for promising companies which are leaders in high growth verticals. Nazara is a leading company in the mobile games business. Nazara has a consistent track record of delivering profits, cash flows, along with efficient use of capital and high ROE. I see a growth potential in the company.”

Founded in 2000, Nazara Technologies uses an artificial intelligence-based system, where the end player can experience playing like the Indian cricketer. The mobile gaming publisher is operational in 74 countries including India, Dubai, Singapore, and Mauritius.

The company had partnered with the studio last year to launch a 4D cricket game-Virat Super Cricket and Epic Cricket, featuring Indian cricket run machine Virat Kohli.

As of September 2017, Nazara has amassed over 34 million downloads with over 10 million monthly active users.

The company is planning to launch Rs 1,000-crore IPO by the end of financial year. It has roped in ICICI Securities and Edelweiss Financial Services for the IPO launch, which could be the first public listing company in the gaming space.

Earlier, this month, Nazara Games raised Rs 330 crore from Asset management firm India Infoline Finance Ltd’s (IIFL) Special Opportunities Fund. Following the investment, IIFL has acquired a minority stake in the gaming company, however, it didn’t disclose the size of the stake.

In November, Nazara Games along with Kae Capital invested in Bengaluru-based HalaPlay, a daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform. Kae and Nazara will pick up a 32% in the gaming company.

Besides HalaPlay, Nazara Games invested an undisclosed amount in game development studio Moong Labs, a developer of 3D cricket simulation games in August.

The Report was first published in ET.

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