Micro venture capital fund Eximius Ventures is launching ‘The Gaming Lounge’ in a bid to take more bets in the gaming and esports sector. The Gaming Lounge made its first investment by participating in gaming startup EsportsXO’s seed funding round.
It currently plans to invest in six to eight startups in the fields of esports, game development and publishing, and gaming infrastructure annually with approximate ticket sizes of $500k.
Founded in 2020, EsportsXO is an esports management startup that offers software to manage esports tournaments among other gaming-related services. It claims to have attracted more than 150k users within a span of 90 days, with a 20% month-on-month growth rate.
EsportsXO’s BattleXO is a SaaS platform that can be used to design, launch and manage online gaming competitions. The startup also operates XO SPACE, which is a ‘gaming house’. Gaining popularity in recent years, gaming houses are cooperative living arrangements where (usually professional) gamers live in the same residence.
“Indian gaming is the second-fastest-growing segment in entertainment after OTT platforms. Globally, it has become the fifth-largest gaming market with a CAGR of 30%. However, merely 10% of the 800 gaming companies are funded today,” said Pearl Aggarwal, founder and managing director of Eximius Ventures.
While many may think of gaming as a niche industry catering to a small group of people, in 2020, the video game industry in the United States grew to register revenues of $57 Bn, presenting an investment opportunity larger than the movie and music industry combined.
Another mistake would be the assumption that all gamers are hardcore PC and console fanatics that spend hours drinking Mountain Dew and Cheetos while playing video games in dimly-lit basements. Conversely, gaming is becoming an increasingly mainstream activity thanks to the penetration of mobile gaming.
According to a BCG-Sequoia report, the Indian mobile gaming industry is projected to be worth $5 Bn by 2025.
“But while Indian gaming is scaling rapidly, it is still a niche sector. As it matures further, there is a growing need for dedicated initiatives to support new-age companies. The Gaming Lounge syndicate has shown a deep understanding of the future of this industry both locally and internationally to support new innovations in this space, and we’re excited to partner with them,” said Vikas Goel, cofounder of EsportsXO.
According to an EY report, the Indian esports market was estimated to be worth INR 300 Cr ($40 Mn) in FY2021 and is projected to grow to an INR 1,100 Cr market by FY2025, generating an economic value of INR 10,000 Cr between now and then.