Sachin Tendulkar-backed virtual gaming company Smaaash Entertainment is planning to raise $72 Mn (INR 500 Cr) from its IPO.
The IPO is expected to come in December 2018, according to the reports.
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.
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 May, Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company I-Am Capital had signed an agreement with Smaaash to acquire a 24.5% stake in the company for $49 Mn.
“They are planning to close the $49 Mn round from I-AM Capital in the next 15-20 days, most probably, by the end of August. After that they will start the IPO process,” said a person close to the development to LiveMint.
Smaaash will use the cash proceeds to fund its inorganic growth initiatives, repay part of its debt and for its working capital requirements, the report added.
Smaaash Entertainment: The Ongoing Bets In Virtual Gaming
Since its launch, Smaaash Entertainment has raised a total (disclosed) funding of around $67.7 Mn. This includes the latest funding round of $6.17 Mn (INR 40.2 Cr) from 23 High Networth Individuals (HNIs) in March 2018.
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).
Also, in August 2017, Smaaash Entertainment 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.
The Ever Growing Virtual Gaming Industry
The major factors driving this growth in India include the increasing smartphone and internet penetration, low-value data packs, high data speed and improved networks across the country.
With India being said as a ‘young nation’ and poised to grow to $1 Bn by 2021, the industry will likely reach more than 310 Mn gamers around the country by then.
[The development was reported by LiveMint.]