The Sachin Tendulkar backed gaming company Smaaash has raised $6.17 Mn (INR 40.2 Cr) funding from 23 High Networth Individuals (HNIs).
As per the fillings available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Smaaash Entertainment Private Limited allotted 1,06,05,350 preference shares of $0.15(INR 10) each at a premium of $0.43 (INR 27.92) each on March 23, 2018. The allotments have been made to Ravi Modi, founder of Manyavar; Lakshmi Narayanan, former vice chairman of Cognizant, and Vijaylaxmi Poddar of Balkrishna Industries amongst others.
An email query sent to the company didn’t elicit any reply till the time of publication.
Smaaash: Triumphing The Gaming World
In 2017 itself, the company raised $ 24.24 Mn in three separate rounds. On its November 2017 funding, the company’s post-money valuation was said to be more than $100 Mn (INR 640.5 Cr).
As per filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Smaaash’s operating revenue nearly doubled to $16 Mn (INR 103.26 Cr) in FY17. During the said fiscal year, its losses also jumped by around 33% to $5 Mn (INR 32.8 Cr).
In 2012, film director and producer Shripal Morakhia established Smaaash as a gaming arcade operator with multiple digital entertainment centres for cricket, football, go-karting, bowling and other recreational activities.
The centres are currently situated in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gurugram and Noida, in addition to locations in the US. Smaaash is co-owned by Sachin Tendulkar, who is also one of the investors in the venture.
The company has also gained a foothold with its acquisitions in the space. In August 2017, the gaming startup took over bowling company bluO Entertainment, as part of a $13.4 Mn (INR 86 Cr) all-cash deal.
Later in September, it acquired 100% stake in SVM Bowling & Gaming, which, in turn, enabled it to expand its reach across Hyderabad, Mysore, Madurai, Vijayawada, Mangaluru, and Pune.
Smaash’s Major Competitors In The Indian Landscape
Recognising the strength of synergy, Nazara Technologies Ltd. has acquired 55% stake in NODWIN Gaming, one of the leading Indian esports venture. With this investment, Nazara aimed to strengthen its portfolio of offerings in the virtual interactive sports genre in India and other emerging markets. Post acquisition, NODWIN became an independent subsidiary of Nazara.
Prior to that, in December 2017, investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala acquired a minority stake in the company for approximately $27.99 Mn (INR 180 Cr). It followed $51.1 Mn funding round led by IIFL Special Opportunities Fund.
Other active startups in the space are PlaySimple, Flixy Games, GameXS, RedMonsterGames and more.
Booming Indian Gaming Industry
As per data available, India accounts for around 13% of the world’s online mobile gaming population.
According to a report by Flurry Analytics, India currently ranks among the top five countries in the world for online and mobile gaming.
As per a Google KPMG report published in May 2017, the online gaming industry in India is estimated to be worth over $360 Mn. Poised to grow to $1 Bn by 2021, the industry will likely reach more than 310 Mn gamers around the country by then.
With the ever growing stronger war chests with various fundings, all the eyes are on the gaming industry in India and Smaaash continues to give high hopes to the gaming world.