Alibaba Group-backed Paytm has formed a joint venture (JV) with Hong Kong’s mobile games development firm AGTech Media. With this move, Paytm aims to develop mobile games for Indian consumers.
AGTech Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AGTech Holdings, a China-based integrated lottery technology, and services company. It is owned by Alibaba Group company, Ali Fortune Investment Holding Ltd. The Alibaba Group is also a major investor in Paytm.
“The joint venture will offer innovative mobile games and user engagement activities to Indian consumers by leveraging the group’s decade-long experience in creating mobile entertainment products and Paytm Group’s massive distribution network to develop mobile games in India,” AGTech said, in an official statement.
As part of the deal, Paytm will get 55% shareholding of the JV and 45% will be owned by AGTech Media.
Recently, news also surfaced of Paytm picking up stake in online hyperlocal grocery delivery startup Big Basket for $200 Mn. Other startups where the company has picked up a significant stake in 2017 include Noida-based MobiQuest Mobile Technologies’ loyalty platform m’loyal, and events ticketing venture Insider.in.
As per a Google KPMG report published in May 2017, the online gaming industry in India estimated to be worth about $360 Mn across platforms. This figure has the potential to grow to $1 Tn by 2021, with 310 Mn gamers. Also, in the last few years, there has been seen a rise in the number of mobile games developers in India. This included startups such as Baadshah Gaming, Hypernova Interactive, Mech Mocha, 99Games, PlaySimple, Flixy Games, GameXS, RedMonsterGames and more.
In April 2016, Alibaba-backed UCWeb launched a $20 Mn fund for Indian gaming startups under its accelerator ‘9 Apps Dev.’ The opportunity in India’s mobile games industry is immense. However, how fruitfu thel Paytm bet will prove in the long term, remains to be seen.
(The development was first reported by LiveMint.)