In the final leg of setting up the first public listing in the gaming space, Mumbai-based gaming company Nazara Technologies has roped in ICICI Securities and Edelweiss Financial Services to launch a Rs 1,000-crore IPO by the end of financial year. Founded in 2000 by Nitish Mittersain, Nazara is expected to be valued at Rs 3,000-3,500 crore which is expected to give investor WestBridge Capital a whopping 75-80 times return on its 12-year-old bet, as mentioned in Economic Times. Nazara, popularly known for its Chhota Bheem game, had gross customer billings of over Rs 550 crore with PAT of Rs 66 crore, according to the company report. It has been profitable since 2007. One of the rare highly-profitable companies in India's digital market, the public issue is expected to give WestBridge Capital a partial exit. The private equity firm has invested a total of $3 million in two tranches in 2005 and 2007, and currently owns around 55% stake. Rest of the shares are held by Mittersain, who founded the company in his early 20s, and his family. “The company is planning to finish the listing process by end of March 2018, and is expecting a valuation of 30-35 times projected profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 100 crore in FY19,“ said one of the sources mentioned above. The mobile gaming market in India is touted to increase from $200 million in 2016 to $3 billion in 2019, according to a FICCI-KPMG last year. The public offering is likely to change the perception among investors of the gaming space, which has not seen any big bang deal unlike online commerce and event video content. Over the last decade, Nazara has also expanded globally to 74 countries as publisher thus diversifying its revenues across Africa and Middle East as well. The plans for an IPO for Nazara comes at a time when the company is looking to expand from its focus on casual mobile gaming to become a broader ecosystem player.
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