HashCube-Nazara

Mobile gaming startup HashCube has raised Rs 4.2 crore series A investment led by the mobile games company Nazara Technologies and participation from Ah! Ventures, CDMA Development Group founder Perry LaForge, and existing investors Indian Angel Network and Blume Ventures, reports The Times of India.

Following this investment, Nazara will work closely with HashCube to develop its Quest series of mobile games, first of which was Sudoku Quest that has been live on Facebook and across iOS, Android and Amazon app stores for couple of years now. Nazara is also expected to help in marketing these games globally.

Prior to this investment, Hashcube had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Indian Angel Network and Blume Ventures in July 2012. IAN members like former Yahoo India head Sharad Sharma, Google India chief Rajan Anandan and Torrent Networks co-founder Hemant Kanakia had participated in the funding round.

HashCube was founded by Ramprasad Rajendran and Deepan Chakravarthy in 2009. Among the titles developed by the company include Facebook games like Sudoku, Loop the Loop, DotGame and web games like Sudoku Solver, Photographic Memory Game, and Color Matching Game, besides Sudoku Quest. The company currently claims to have over 3 million users.

Nazara game fund: This is probably the first investment from Nazara’s seed fund for game developers that was setup in November last year. The company had setup a Rs 5 crore seed fund and was then expecting other early stage investors to co-invest to raise the fund size to Rs 20 crore. It was planning to invest Rs 20-25 lakh in game development companies, giving them enough funds to start work on their second game after finishing one, besides providing access to advisory board that will include people from gaming industry from India and abroad. More on that here.

The fund size seems to have further increased now and Nazara founder & CEO Nitish Mittersain told TOI that the fund size can go up to as much as Rs 100 crore since venture capitalists have shown interest in this concept.

Other gaming funds

– Last month, Reliance Games revealed plans incubating and investing in startups in the gaming sector. The company was still in the process of evaluating games from a couple of developers and had identified some encouraging concepts and prototypes to invest in. The details of the plans for the incubator were expected to be finalized by February 2015.

– In July this year, mobile advertising network InMobi had announced a $25 million fund for indie game developers along with a new monetization solution for games. However, this initiative was not a regular corporate investment fund; rather it was an initiative from InMobi to increase its game developer base by providing various advisory services like global scaling, monetization, and ad experience creation to developers.

– Last year, Bangalore-based Dhruva Interactive had setup an incubator called Gametantra, targeting mobile game developers where it would offer space and mentorship in return for a 3-7% stake.