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Indian gaming and sports startup Nazara delivers $75mn exit to $3mn WestBridge Capital investment

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Indian gaming and sports startup Nazara delivers $75mn exit to $3mn WestBridge Capital investment.

Ahmedabad-based Financial advisory firm Plutus Wealth Management LLP and its associates have bought shares worth Rs 500 crore in Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed mobile gaming startup Nazara Technologies from one of the companies earliest investor WestBride Capital providing the latter a complete exit from the gaming company.

Westbridge Capital is among the first investors that have been with Nazara since 2005. Westbridge Capital through its WestBridge Ventures II Investment Holdings had invested about $3 million in 2005 and acquired a 60% stake in Nazar Technologies. Since then their investment in Nazara has grown significantly.

The private equity fund saw a partial exit in 2017, which brought down its 60% stake to 21%, the same year when Rakesh Jhunjhunwala investment a record Rs 182 crore in the company. Now with Nazara Technologies IPO launch on the horizon, WestBridge Capital has completely exited the company and sold its remaining stake in a record Rs 500 crore deal to Plutus Wealth Management LLP.

Since its inception in 1999, Nazara has grown significantly and has become India’s leading gaming and sports company. The gaming company has developed popular games such as World Cricket Championship, Chhota Bheem Race, Motu Patlu Race, etc and acquired a range of gaming companies including names like HalaPlay, Nodwin Gaming, Next Wave Multimedia, Hash Cube, Mastermind Sports, Moonglabs Technologies, Bakbuck, CrimzonCode, InstaSportz, NZWorld, SportsKeeda, and Paper Boat Apps. 

Today, Nazara has a network of over 100 Mn players in India and posted record revenue of INR 264 Cr in FY 2020, growing from INR 164 Cr in 2018-19. The company now also operates in geographies other than India including Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, etc.

In the last 10 years, the company has created great shareholder value and became a market leader in almost every segment it stepped in. Nazara has since turned WestBridge Ventures Rs 22.6 crore investment and into sales consideration of around Rs 1000 crore.

Speaking in the press release, WestBridge Capital cofounder Sandeep Singhal said:

WestBridge Capital backed Nitish at a very early stage back in 2005. Since then the company has created great shareholder value and created a market leader. We wish Nitish, Manish, and the entire Nazara group all the very best in their future endeavors.

Sandeep Singhal, Cofounder-WestBridge Capital

We believe gaming will be a prominent form of entertainment and will do well in the next decade. We believe that Nazara is well-placed to leverage the vast available opportunity. We are excited to begin our long-term journey with their goal and vision.

Plutus Wealth Managing Partner Arpit Khandelwal in a statement

India’s gaming sector had a market value of around Rs 6,200 crore in 2019 and is expected to grow to more than Rs 25,000 crore by 2024. Out of this, the mobile gaming market is expected to grow the most with a Rs 3000 crore market value by 2022.

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