Nazara acquires majority in ad tech company Datawrkz (January 2022)
Jan 18, 2022

January 18, 2021, India: Nazara Technologies Limited (BSE: 543280) (NSE: NAZARA) an India based, diversified gaming and sports media company today announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire a 55% stake in programmatic advertising and monetization company Datawrkz valuing the company up to INR 225 Cr (approx. USD 30M) linked to CY 22 EBITDA performance.

Nazara will acquire a 33% stake (INR 60 crores payable of which INR 35 crores is partly payable in cash and the balance consideration of INR 25 crores will be paid either in cash or swap of shares) in the first tranche by April 22.  Nazara reserves an option to acquire an additional 22% in the second tranche that is expected to close in Q4 FY23.

Founded in 2013 by Senthil Govindan, IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Datawrkz is a global advertising technology firm focused on accelerating user and revenue growth for clients through highly optimized digital advertising. With offices in the US, Singapore, and India, the firm functions as an Independent Trading Desk to power digital media strategy, planning and execution. Datawrkz’s self-serve product suite for advertisers – Vizibl, includes a Demand Side Platform as well as a Customer Data Platform. On the supply side, Datawrkz generates higher revenue for publishers through AdPrimus, its Supply Side product set that drives higher user engagement, mediates between demand sources, and enables audience segmentation. For the calendar year 2021, Datawrkz posted a combined revenue of INR 90.7 Cr (approx. USD 12.1M) and EBIDTA margin of 12% with around 70% of its revenue coming from the US as per CY 2021 unaudited financial statements.

Datawrkz tech offerings will enhance in-house capabilities of Nazara for optimizing its customer acquisition spends as well as enhance yields on ad monetization of its large consumer base. This ad revenue monetization is expected to assist many of the companies in the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network.

Further, there is an increasing symbiotic relationship between gaming companies and ad tech companies worldwide as a combination of the two will be value accretive for both businesses. With this transaction, Datawrkz aims to establish itself as a key player in gaming, covering both demand and supply side offerings for the gaming ecosystem in the US and India.

Said Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal, “We, at Nazara, are looking to build strong gaming ad tech offerings globally with the partnership with Datawrkz. We strongly believe that growth of gaming focused ad tech will be exponential in the coming decade across geographies with the growth of gamers and game publishers across freemium, web3.0 and skill based real money gaming.”

He further adds, “Ad tech companies with deep data processing capabilities and first party data ownership will emerge as winners in gaming focused ad tech and will help Datawrkz to create value for itself as well as for Nazara shareholders.”

Nitish Mittersain, Founder & Joint MD of Nazara Technologies said, “As always, it’s a great moment for us to welcome a new friend to our ‘Friends of Nazara’ network and I believe Senthil and the entire Datawrkz team will add great value to what we are building at Nazara over the next few years”

Datawrkz founder Senthil Govindan said, “We had started this company with a vision to disrupt the digital advertising space. Datawrkz was already on a fast track to achieve our objective with rapid growth and satisfied clients around the world. Through our partnership with Nazara, I see our pace accelerating further. While Datawrkz will be able to immediately bring our natural strengths to bear within the existing Nazara fold, this also gives both sides a tremendous opportunity to build global advertising and publisher monetization products with a sharp focus on the gaming vertical.”

Having acquired multiple companies over the past few years, Nazara has placed itself in a leading position in esports, interactive gaming and gamified early learning space with the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network. Nazara has acquired a majority stake in Nodwin Gaming Pvt. Ltd (57.05%); Next Wave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. (52.38%), which operates World Cricket Championship (WCC), the largest mobile-based cricket simulation game, in addition to investment in Absolute Sports Private Limited, which operates Sportskeeda (63.90%) and Paper Boat Apps Private Limited (50.91%) – gamified early learning subscription app and OpenPlay – Skill Gaming (100%).

About Nazara Technologies:

Nazara is an India based diversified gaming and sports media platform with a presence in India and across emerging and developed global markets such as Africa and North America, with offerings across the interactive gaming, Esports and gamified early learning ecosystems. The company owns some of the most recognizable IP such as World Cricket Championship, Kiddopia in gamified early learning, NODWIN and Sportskeeda in Esports and Esports media, and Halaplay, Qunami and OpenPlay in skill-based, fantasy and trivia games.

Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements

Certain statements in this release concerning our future growth prospects are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits. Our ability to generate and manage growth, ability to maintain cost advantage, salary cost increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns, client concentration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas and integrate potential acquisitions, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of Financial Year governmental incentives, political instability, war, pandemic, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.

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