Nazara plans 20 startup bets in 2020

Nazara Technologies plans to shortlist 20 technology-based gaming companies in which it will acquire strategic stake. These companies will primarily be based in India, chief executive Manish Agarwal said.

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With the sustained interest in the gaming sector, Nazara may find it difficult to acquire smaller companies as venture money continues to pour in, experts said.
MUMBAI: Nazara Technologies is planning to invest $20 million in gaming companies in the next year, its top executive said.

It plans to shortlist 20 technology-based gaming companies in which it will acquire strategic stake. These companies will primarily be based in India, chief executive Manish Agarwal said.

Gaming has been in focus of late, especially after Mumbai-based fantasy gaming startup Dream11 became a unicorn (achieved a valuation of $1 billion) after it raised a $100 million round led by Steadview Capital. Before that, Bengaluru-based Mobile Premier League (MPL) raised $35.5 million from Sequoia Capital, GoVentures and Times Internet.


With the sustained interest in this sector, Nazara may find it difficult to acquire smaller companies as venture money continues to pour in, experts said.

Agarwal, however, dismissed the idea. “Since these two (Dream11 and MPL) there haven’t been any big deals,” he said, adding that since the gaming community is small, those who are interested in forming an alliance will come onboard. ' “The challenge is to find good companies,” he said.

Nazara has placed its investment strategy into three baskets, with the stage that companies are in driving capital infusion.
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“Those with an interesting but unproven idea, we will invest Rs 1-2 crore and that will be risk capital,” he said. For companies that are in need of growth capital, Nazara will invest about $1 million.
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