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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Nodwin Gaming raises $28 mn from Nazara, four others
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Nodwin Gaming raises $28 mn from Nazara, four others

The funding round boosted the esports company’s valuation to $349 million. The company had in March 2021 raised $22.4 million from Krafton at a valuation of $135 million.

The number of esports players in India has risen fourfold. (iStock)Premium
The number of esports players in India has risen fourfold. (iStock)

NEW DELHI:Nodwin Gaming has secured $28 million in equity investment from five investors, including parent Nazara Technologies, PUBG creator Krafton and digital entertainment company JetSynthesys.

The funding round boosted the esports company’s valuation to $349 million. The company had in March 2021 raised $22.4 million from Krafton at a valuation of $135 million.

Nodwin didn’t identify the two other investors.

Nodwin’s co-founder and managing director Akshat Rathee said the fresh capital will be used for strategic acquisitions to grow the intellectual property (IP) portfolio and expand to emerging markets.

Rathee said Nodwin is interested in multi-use IPs that work across geographies, games and genres. “We are looking at both building and buying IPs. We are also looking at firms that offer capacity and capability to expand to geographies where we don’t have access. They may not have a lot of IPs but they will have the capability to help execute IPs in that region," he added.

Last month, Nodwin took a 51% stake in Singapore-based mediatech startup Branded for their multiple-event IPs in a deal valued at $1.3 million. Apart from South Asia and Singapore, Nodwin has offices in the Middle East and Turkey.

Nodwin is one of the top esports firms in South Asia and has organized some of the biggest esports tournaments including ESL India Premiership and the BGMI Masters Series. Last year, Nodwin also partnered with Star Sports Network to telecast the BGMI Masters Series live on traditional TV for the first time, taking it to audiences in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Typically, esports tournaments are streamed on OTT platforms.

India esports industry is still at a nascent stage as compared to the US, Japan and South Korea, but it is growing fast.

The number of esports players in India has risen fourfold from 150,000 in 2021 to 600,000 last year, as per a report by gaming fund Lumikai. In terms of revenue, the Indian esports industry is expected to reach $140 million by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% from $40 million last year.

The industry also received a boost after esports was included as a medal sport for the first time in the 2022 Asian Games, which will be held later this year. “As we migrate to the next phase of our evolution, we would like to build a global company that is a significant thought leader and the largest player in the emerging market space," said Rathee, adding that Nodwin has grown at a CAGR of over 68% over the last two years.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abhijit Ahaskar
Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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Published: 18 May 2023, 10:33 PM IST
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