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Nazara Technologies raises Rs 100 crore ahead of IPO launch

Esports and gaming company Nazara Technologies has raised Rs. 100 crore from Instant Growth Limited, ahead of its proposed IPO launch. IGL is advised by Hornbill Capital Advisers LLP, an investment vehicle of North America based limited partners of Hornbill Orchid India Fund, the company announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Hornbill Capital Advisers LLP (Hornbill Capital) is an India based investment advisory firm founded by Manoj Thakur in 2014. Hornbill Capital acts as an advisor to Hornbill Orchid Investment Manager Private Limited which manages Hornbill Orchid India Fund, a Mauritius based hedge fund that invests in India as a Foreign Portfolio Investor.

“The leadership team of Hornbill Capital has been part of the growth story of many consumer internet companies and we look forward to leveraging their experience of working with some of the smartest tech entrepreneurs across the globe and having an inside view of blitz scaling of their portfolio companies in the last decade,” Manish Agarwal, Nazara CEO, said in a statement.

Nazara had filed a draft red herring prospectus with SEBI in January. Founded in 2000 by Nitish Mittersain, Nazara operates in e-sports gaming and content, mobile gaming, and has recently entered gamified learning and real-money gaming, including fantasy sports gaming. Its operations are spread across India, South Asia, North America, and Africa. Some of its brands in India are WCC and CarromClash in mobile games, sports content website SportsKeeda, and HalaPlay and Qunami in real money quiz and gaming.

Esports content business for Nazara grew by 60%  in FY20 from FY19 and has grown by 9x times in the last three financial years, the company added in their statement.

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In January 2021, Plutus Wealth Management and its associates had acquired shares worth Rs 500 crore in Nazara from Westbridge Ventures II Investment Holdings, facilitating their exit from the company. In 2018, Germany-based eSports company Turtle Entertainment had invested Rs 26 crore in the company in exchange for a 1.75% stake. Nazara had also raised Rs 330 crore and Rs 180 crore in 2017 from IIF Special Opportunities Fund and investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, respectively.

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