Gaming companies had a joyride until FY23 as the segment didn’t attract taxation heat. Gameskraft’s numbers typify the good old days, as it posted Rs 2,662 crore in revenue and a hefty Rs 1,062 crore profit in FY23. Gurugram-based gaming firm Zupee also managed over two-fold growth in terms of scale during FY23 and reduced losses by over 73%.
Zupee’s revenue from operations spiked 2.05X to Rs 832 crore in the fiscal year ending March 2023 as compared to Rs 405 crore in FY22, its consolidated financial statement sourced from the RoC shows.
Founded by Dilsher Singh Malhi and Siddhant Saurabh, Zupee allows users to play various games for real cash like ludo, snakes & ladders, trump cards, and tombola.
The platform fees (specified percentage charged by the company on the total gaming transactions) are the only source of revenue for Zupee in the previous fiscal. The company also has another income (non-operating) of Rs 33.35 crore mainly from interest on fixed deposits during FY23.
Similar to other gaming platforms, its advertising and promotion cost accounted for 52% of the overall expenditure that surged 2.65X to Rs 468 crore in FY23. The cashback given to the user increased by 14.5% to Rs 235 crore in FY23.
Its employee benefits, commissions, legal/professional, server, information technology, and other overheads took the total expenditure up by 65.93% to Rs 901 crore in FY23 from Rs 543 crore in FY22.
See TheKredible for the detailed expense breakup.
- Employee benefit expense
- Advertising and sales promotion expenses
- Server and IT expenses
- Legal and professional charges
The two-fold growth and controlled cost mechanism helped Zupee to reduce losses by 72.31% to Rs 36 crore in FY23 as compared to Rs 130 crore in FY22. Its ROCE and EBITDA improved to -6% and -3% respectively. On a unit level, it spent Rs 1.08 to earn a rupee in FY23.
|Expense/Rupee of ops revenue
The four-year-old firm has raised $121 million across funding rounds and was valued at $600 million in its last fundraise. According to the data intelligence platform TheKredible, Nepean Capital is the largest external stakeholder with 16.61% followed by Westcap and Seminal Digital Ventures. Its co-founders Singh and Saurabh cumulatively command 12.17% of the company.
With Kapil Sharma as a brand ambassador in July this year, and strong spends on promotions, Zupee has certainly pulled out all stops through FY24 as well, and it should be interesting to see how the final numbers stack up after the very strong show in FY23. While some might raise an eyebrow at the relatively low share of cashback winnings given back to players, the firm has every reason to ensure FY24 maintains the momentum. In the normal course of things, this is the year where the firm would have been in the black, and looked ahead to really strong expansion plans even. Whether it still does that, is the million dollar question now.