Yourstory – The 20-year-old journey of Nazara Technologies that helped its early investor get a 40x exit

Exits are important milestones for startups and investors It helps bring in more investment and belief in the market. But to get an exit is a journey of at least 10 years. For Nazara, their focus and drive gave its early investor an exit of close to 40x returns.

For Sandeep Singal, Co-founder and Managing Director, WestBridge Capital India Advisors, meeting entrepreneurs is a part of an everyday routine. But 25-year-old Nitish Mittersain, Founder of Nazara Technologies, especially piqued his intrigued when he first met him in 2005.  “The young 20-odd-year-old had two mobile phones in 2005; he was texting on one and playing on another. He seemed confident and knew about the space. After close to six months of conversations, Nitish had given me an understanding that he was not only an avid gamer but also a businessman,” Sandeep recalls.

Sandeep had seen an interview of Nitish on gaming. While the company wasn’t earning a lot of revenues back then, the young founder seemed very passionate about the field. “One thing good about the business is that if you are a user yourself, you can imagine it intimately when you’re marketing it to someone else,” says Sandeep.

The story on the other side was a little different. Nitish recollects, “I remember seeing a post-it note on my table telling that an investor had called. Sandeep and I spoke for close to six months and after that, I walked into a room full of 20 odd investors with zero experience of talking to them or even knowing anything.”

The conversation got Nitish a $3 million investment from WestBridge Capital. Nazara is now gunning for an IPO, and WestBridge saw a partial exit in 2017, with its stake coming down from 60 percent to 21 percent, and a further reduction of three to four percent in 2020. While the quantum of the exit is still undisclosed, the investment firm got over a 40x return on its $3 million investment.

Nazara Technologies aims to clock a revenue of Rs 450-470 crore this fiscal year. The company had clocked a revenue of Rs 164 crore in 2018-19, which increased to Rs 264 crore in FY20.

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