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Nazara backs pre-school edtech startup Paper Boat Apps

Nazara backs pre-school edtech startup Paper Boat Apps
Nazara founder Nitish Mittersain (left), Anshu Dhanuka and Anupam Dhanuka

Mumbai based gaming and digital sports media firm Nazara Technologies has invested $11.7 million in Paper Boat Apps, the holding company of preschool edutainment app Kiddopia, in exchange for a majority stake in the company.

With the transaction, Nazara has acquired a 51% stake at a pre-money valuation of $21.52 million, said a joint statement from the two companies.

“This investment will help us grow our team, strengthen our market share in the US and expand to other high value markets such as Latin America, Europe and Japan. We also plan to leverage Nazara’s existing network of users to quickly grow in India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East,” said Paper Boat Apps founder and CEO Anupam Dhanuka.

The subscription-based Kiddopia app, Paper Boat’s flagship offering, has been downloaded about 2.5 million times across Apple, Google and Amazon app stores. It has over 100,000 active subscribers, the statement added.

Founded in 2013 by husband and wife duo Anupam and Anshu Dhanuka, the bootstrapped startup claims a 5X growth in the last two years. Kiddopia was launched in 2017.

Kiddopia uses interactive games, activities to foster cognitive development, self-expression and social-emotional learning and is completely ad-free.

“Kiddopia addresses the concern where young children are found to consume digital content through their parent’s devices. Kiddopia offers a positive alternative while bringing high quality, curated educational content packaged within an entertaining framework that keeps both kids healthy and parents happy. Kiddopia will be leveraged to over 100 million users through the Nazara network,” said Nitish Mittersain, founder and managing director, Nazara.

In September this year, Nazara acquired a majority stake in Delhi-based video game developer Sports Unity. In August, the WestBridge Capital Partners backed company invested around $6.2 million to acquire a 67% stake in Bengaluru-based digital multi-sports content platform Sportskeeda. In July, it invested $5.21 million in the same platform.

The company has also invested in other mobile gaming companies such as Halaplay, Mastermind Sports and Moonglabs Technologies. It also acquired majority stakes in Next Wave Multimedia and Nodwin Gaming last year.

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