Nirdesa Networks, which owns and operates online poker platform Pocket52, has raised $1.75 million in a Series A funding round from game development company Gameskraft.
The Bengaluru headquartered firm will deploy the funds to improve its technology framework, expand user base and scale business operations, according to a statement.
Pocket52 also plans to add more companies to its network, which currently includes the Mobile Premier League (MPL) and four other platforms, it added.
“With the skill-based real money gaming (RMG) space in India gaining whirlwind momentum, especially in online poker, we are positive about our association with Pocket52. We are confident that the future holds huge growth potential as the concept of shared liquidity pool (is) introduced in this market," Ramesh Prabhu, CFO of Gameskraft, said.
Pocket52 was founded in 2017 by chief executive officer Nitesh Salvi, chief operating officer Saurav Suman, chief marketing officer Debashish Bhattacharjee, chief technology officer Satyam Verma and chief sales officer Abhigya Sagar.
The gaming platform also offers Pocket Vault, a poker cashback programme that allows users to generate coins and redeem them for cash rewards or vouchers.
The company last raised capital in June 2019, when returning investor Speciale Invest Fund 1 and Pocket52's chief sales officer Sagar invested $171,440 as part of a seed funding round, according to research platform VCCEdge. Prior to that, it raised $600,000 in an angel round led by Speciale Invest in 2018.
The platform has witnessed a five fold increase in its user base in the past three months, the statement added.
“Time and again, the world has shown how execution trumps over the idea. Despite being a late entrant to a competitive poker industry, we are the fastest to gain a top 3 spot in the industry. With Gameskraft on board as the lead investor, Pocket52 now has the additional operational, technological and commercial flexibility to develop innovative and exciting new partnerships and offer a broader customer choice,” Pocket52 CEO Salvi said.
Gurugram-based Indipepper Media, which owns skill-based gaming platform Zupee, was one of the companies in the sector to raise funds recently. Venture capital firm Matrix Partners India invested $8 million in the company during a Series A funding round last month.
Separately, Dream11 Fantasy became the first gaming unicorn in India, when Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital invested in the firm through a secondary share purchase in April last year.