IPO bound Mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies Limited (Nazara) has acquired 27.42% stake in a quiz app company CrimzonCode to capitalise on real money quiz vertical.
CrimzonCode owns the TopQuiz franchise, which allows players to play multiple quizzes around localized topics and stand a chance to win real money. The quizzing app was launched 6 months ago, and since then it has reportedly garnered 5,00,000 users and claims to have about 1,00,000 monthly active users engaging for over 15 minutes on the application per session. [We tried playing a quiz on the app (multiple times), but after streaming ads, it would not work and kept on crashing.]
Nazara said that it will be publishing the TopQuiz app across 61 countries in emerging markets like Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, Latin America etc, as part of a multi-year partnership with CrimzonCode.
Nazara’s previous deals
Mumbai-headquartered Nazara was founded in 2000 by Nitish Mittersain. Nazara has licensed mobile gaming rights to popular IP’s like ChhotaBheem, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Motu Patlu, Mighty Raju, Shikari Shambhu and Suppandi. Besides, it has tapped esports business in recent past in a big way.
In February, Modern Times Group-owned eSports company ESL picked up a minority stake in Nazara for an undisclosed amount. ESL is the world’s largest esports company and the oldest professional esports organization that is still operational.
ESL also signed a license agreement with NODWIN Gaming, in which Nazara had acquired a 55% stake in January. As part of the agreement, NODWIN Gaming will get 5-year licensing rights for the ESL system and ESL community platform, allowing them to organise and operate ESL competitions in the country. NODWIN Gaming will also get the media distribution rights of ESL’s global content for the Indian subcontinent.
Before that, Nazara had invested undisclosed amount against a majority stake acquisition in a Chennai-based gaming and multimedia startup NextWave Multimedia. NextWave develops games in the sports genre like World Cricket Championship (WCC), Group Play Cricket, Baseball etc. And in August 2017, Nazara invested in a Delhi-based mobile gaming startup MoongLabs, which develops free games for smartphones and tablets like mobile cricket games like Virat Super Cricket and Epic Cricket.
Shifting to Real Money Gaming?
Nazara, which has received SEBI approval for an IPO, and the fact that it is entering Real Money Gaming should boost its prospects of raising money. It also mentioned the intent of investing in real money gaming companies in the draft Red Herring Prospectus. In the prospectus, Nazara points out that its esports revenues are fairly small for now, and it is primarily a subscription/VAS business, saying that “the increased availability and accessibility of smartphones, the increasing popularity of free-to-play and freemium games, the easy availability of mobile games content across platforms without the involvement of telecom operators and a reduction in payment barriers may all result in a decline of the Subscription Business.” Real money gaming has the potential to be a significantly bigger source of revenue for Nazara.
Last month, Nazara Technologies Limited (Nazara) said that it is planning to launch sports betting, sports fantasy, Sports Arcade and Sports Real Money Quiz in Kenya, after acquiring a betting license in the country. It has set up a subsidiary called NZWorld Kenya Limited, in which it holds 70% stake, and has acquired the license from the Betting Control Board of Kenya.
Real money gaming
Apps paying real money have started mushrooming in India of late. There are a number of such apps on the Android store, which lets you earn money for games like quizzes, live quizzes, Gambling, cards, etc. Most of these apps let users cash their money out to mobile wallets (Paytm being the most popular).
Hence, such apps are also getting investors’ attention, because of high user engagement. For instance, Time-internet backed live quiz show app BrainBaazi, where the app streams live game was launched in February 2018, and it crossed 5,00,000 concurrent users in May. In real money paying app, users play till last and stay glued to the quiz to win some monies. And, who would not want rapt screen attention of thousands of users?