Mumbai-based mobile gaming company Nazara has raised about $51.1 Mn in a funding round led by IIFL Special Opportunities Fund. Nazara, popular for its 'Chhota Bheem' game, had gross customer billings of over Rs 550 crore with PAT of Rs 66 crore, according to the company's report. It has been profitable since 2007. Commenting on the recent investment, Prashasta Seth, CEO, IIFL Asset Management Ltd, stated, “The gaming industry is expected to see growth in India & emerging markets. With its strong leadership and highly motivated team, Nazara is in a position to capture this growth and has the potential to emerge as a leading player in mobile gaming industry across emerging markets. We are happy to partner with the company in this journey and be a part of their growth story.” “We at Nazara, welcome IIFL AMC to join us on the exciting journey of tapping into the potential offered by gaming across the emerging markets in the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America,” said Nitish Mittersain, Managing Director & Founder, Nazara Technologie. Nazara Technologies is a mobile gaming company engaged in the acquisition of, value addition to and distribution of mobile games across emerging markets. It runs mobile gaming subscription services to mass mobile Internet users comprising largely of first time mobile gamers across Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, Latin America and the Indian subcontinent. So far, this is the largest private investment in the gaming space in India. The deal will see Westbridge Capital stake in the company drop to a little over 30% from about 55% now. India's mobile gaming market is expected to expand from $200 million in 2016 to $3 billion in 2019, according to a FICCI-KPMG report last year. With telecom operators lowering voice and data rates amid intense competition, smartphone penetration in the country is expected to deepen, which in turn could push up adoption of mobile games. Over the last decade, Nazara has also expanded to 74 countries as publisher, diversifying its revenues across Africa and the Middle East as well. The company's plan for an IPO comes at a time when it is looking to expand from its focus on casual mobile gaming to become a broader ecosystem player.
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