Nazara Technologies announces $100 million war chest for global expansion

Nazara Technologies said it is scouting for investment opportunities in gaming, esports, and adtech areas with a particular focus on established gaming IPs and studios as well as cutting-edge technologies such as web3, Virtual Reality, and artificial intelligence.

Nazara Technologies on March 13 said that it is earmarking $100 million (Rs 830 crore) for mergers and acquisitions over the next 24 months as the country's first publicly-listed gaming company aims to strengthen its global presence.

The diversified gaming and sports media company said that it is scouting for investment opportunities in gaming, esports, and adtech areas with a particular focus on established gaming IPs or studios as well as those involved in cutting-edge technologies such as web3, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

"We are particularly focused on investing in and acquiring gaming studios globally with a specific focus on India’s 500 million gamers as well as the large North American market," Nazara Technologies founder Nitish Mittersain said in a statement.

The move comes after Nazara Technologies recently raised Rs 760 crore from marquee investors, including Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath, ICICI Prudential MF, SBI Mutual Fund, and Plutus Wealth Management, among others.

This was the company's second fundraise after it went public in February 2021. It had raised Rs 315 crore from a clutch of institutional investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC-managed investment firm Gamnat Pte and Plutus Wealth Management in October 2021.

India accounted for 46 percent of the company's revenues for the first nine months of FY24, followed by North America that contributed 38 percent and the rest of world representing the remaining 16 percent.

Nazara's growth plans

Nazara Technologies currently operates in three key sectors - gaming (World Cricket Championship, Kiddopia, Animal Jam, Classic Rummy etc), esports (Nodwin Gaming, Sportskeeda) and advertising (Datawrkz).

"Nazara has seen significant success in its ‘acquire and scale’ strategy over the last few years as can be seen by the post-acquisition growth in Kiddopia, Nodwin Gaming and Sportskeeda among others" Mittersain said.

Nazara's unique decentralised model allows these businesses to operate autonomously and provides the company with significant bandwidth to scale the platform they have created, he said in a statement.

Last year, Mittersain had told Moneycontrol in an interview that a big focus area for the firm is growing its portfolio of companies through acquisitions in the future.

Apart from gaming studios, Nazara Technologies plans to shop for gaming-focused adtech companies, programmatic adtech firms, and media buying or media planning agencies to expand its presence in developed markets, Mittersain said at the time.

"We are not looking at launching a new vertical but instead, focusing on going deeper into each of our segments, making the business healthier and stronger with better cash flows and doing M&A that makes our verticals bigger" he said in an interview to Moneycontrol in July 2023.

In October, Nazara Technologies launched its publishing unit, Nazara Publishing, in a bid to capitalise on India's rising potential as a global gaming hub. The company plans to launch up to 20 games across mobile, web3, virtual reality (VR) and personal computer (PC) over the next 12-18 months and invest between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3 crore a game.

In December, Nazara's publishing unit unveiled its first set of five games, ranging across various genres, from four Indian game studios. The company has also acquired exclusive rights to publish game titles from Israel-based Snax Games in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East region on a revenue-sharing basis for five years.

Earlier this year, Nazara also purchased a 10.77 percent stake in influencer marketing platform Kofluence, with plans to launch an influencer-driven game discovery platform, wherein influencers will promote Nazara's games across various social media platforms.

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