Mobile gaming platform Nazara Technologies Wednesday said it has acquired a majority stake in sports content website Sportskeeda.com, continuing its string of acquisitions and investments in the sports and internet space.
Nazara has invested ₹44 crore for a 67% stake in the popular sports content portal, valuing it at about ₹65 crore.
“We currently have around 50 million users very interested in sports; so, we felt there would be a huge overlap of users who would be interested in the content being generated at Sportskeeda," Nitish Mittersain, founder and managing director, Nazara Technologies, said over the phone.
“Integrating it in all our existing products would achieve two things—increase engagement of our users in existing products, and help scale up Sportskeeda significantly. So we saw a win-win situation and went in. They also have a sizeable user base of about 25 million monthly users," he added.
Investments and acquisitions have been a key part of Nazara’s growth strategy, with bets in the past year or so including fantasy gaming platform HalaPlay, and real money quiz app Qunami.
Sportskeeda offers news and views on sports such as cricket, football, basketball and pro-wrestling, with freelance writers, bloggers and sports enthusiasts largely generating its content.
“While its revenues are largely advertising and sponsorship driven, and recently, it is also profitable, now they are also adding premium and subscription sections. We will add layers of monetization over what they have already," Mittersain said.
The acquisition will also help Nazara expand its user base to countries such as the US, where Mittersain says Sportskeeda has a following because of its content on the popular pro-wrestling company World Wrestling Entertainment .
Nazara, which was planning to go public in 2018, and had obtained approval from the markets regulator, shelved its plans owing to weak market conditions. It plans to attempt a listing again next year.
“We didn’t have a huge urgency to do it. So, we said, let’s use this time to grow our businesses. Right now, our plan is to continue consolidation in the market this year. We are working on a couple of acquisitions as well as our organic businesses. We will look at an IPO early next year," Mittersain said.
The initial public offering is also meant to provide an exit to its investors, and is not for raising fresh capital, he added.
Last year, IIFL Special Opportunities fund acquired a minority stake in the company in a $51-million funding round.
Gaming companies have seen heavy user and investor interest in the last few years, driven by wider internet penetration spearheaded by Reliance Jio, and higher willingness of consumers to pay for mobile games.
“From an Indian gaming perspective, the biggest game-changer has been the real money gaming space, because in our usual premium business we always struggle with purchases and making people pay. Real money gaming has taken off big time," Mittersain said.