Udupi-based gaming startup 99Games has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Japanese investment firm Dream Incubator, along with participation from existing investors Kalaari Capital and Ascent Capital. This is Dream Incubator’s debut investment in India.
Rohith Bhat, founder of 99Games stated, “The focus for the deployment of funds will be on user acquisition purposes for our global games and to build games for the Indian market, with two female-focused games launching this year, targeting a female age group between 25 and 55.”
The first female-focussed game to be launched is a puzzle strategy game focused on cooking. However, details about the second game, which will be launched in the second half of the year, is yet to be disclosed. Rohit added that 99Games wants to focus on building games that would have a life time value of nine-ten years.
The startup is best known for its game Star Chef which has over 1.5 million monthly active users and is majorly played across the US, Japan, the UK, Taiwan and India.
Dream Incubator Inc had announced its plans to enter India and Southeast Asia as early as May 2015 with its $100 Mn DIAIF II fund.
99Games had been restructured from Karnataka-based mobile app developer, Robosoft Technologies Pvt Ltd in 2015 which had raised $12 Mn in Series B round of funding from Ascent Capital. Robosoft is a third party mobile app developer and also publisher of its own mobile games. The funding was utilised to restructure itself into three separate companies with 99Games and Global Delight being hived off and plans to build near-shore capability in the US, Europe and Middle East.
Last November, Bengaluru-based mobile gaming startup PlaySimple had reportedly raised $4 Mn in Series A round of funding from SAIF Partners and IDG Ventures India. Prior to that in September 2016, Japan and Singapore-based venture capital firm Rebright Partners had invested $425K in a seed round of mobile game publishing startup Flixy Games.
[This development was first reported in ET.]