Venture capitalists eye investments in gaming space

Sushma U. N. Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 11, 2012

Evince interest in mobile gaming, applications

With a Rs 1,000-crore gaming market in India and several challenges like penetration of broadband and device availability being addressed, gaming seems to be the next big thing on the horizon.

The sector seems to be hotting up for the coming year, with VC funds evincing interest in start-ups working in the mobile gaming and mobile applications space.

With just one investment by a venture capital (VC) fund in the gaming sector for $6 million, the year 2011 has been bland for start-ups in the gaming applications space.

According to Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on Private Equity & M&A, a $6-million funding by Clearstone, SVB into Games2win was the only VC funding in the sector, in the last two years.

Bullish trend

“There seems to be a coming together of trends that point in the right direction and we are certainly bullish on the market, Mr Ritesh Banglani, Vice-President of Helion Advisors, told Business Line recently.

“We see a lot of interest from the VCs and we are in discussion with some other VCs for co-investing in some of these companies,” he said.

“The two areas where we are very bullish are mobile as well as social gaming; there are trends in the positive direction and we are looking at making more investments,” he added.

Mr Vishal Golia, co-founder of Gamiana, however, said that while lot of companies talk to start-ups, “VCs in India are a bit gun shy.”

“They look at your stuff but then say it is too early and that they want to see revenues; they do not invest at a very early stage,” he said.

Earlier, gaming device/mobile phone penetration, broadband connectivity and power supply thwarted the growth of the gaming industry, experts say.

Growing access

But access to gaming platforms has increased dramatically over the last few years, and today, about 20 million people across platforms now have the capability to play games, Mr Banglani said.

Still, payment is an issue that needs to be addressed.

“The India gaming ecosystem has not delivered enough to the developers and this is because there is not an easy way to pay for the game outside of the operator network,” said Mr Shekhar Kirani of Accel Partners, the firm that has funded ventures like Angry Birds and Flipkart.

Published on January 11, 2012
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