California based gaming co Krikey launches Indian AR game post funding from Jio

California based gaming co Krikey launches Indian AR game post funding from Jio
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
3 Dec, 2020

Reliance Industries on Wednesday said its Jio business unit has led a Series A funding round at Krikey, a San Francisco, California based gaming company.

While the investment was not disclosed, Reliance said in its statement that the sum took the overall funding at Krikey to $22 million so far.

Krikey has also launched an augmented reality (AR) based game called Yaatra, in partnership with Jio, Reliance said in its statement.

Using a mobile phone camera, Yaatra players can step into an action-adventure story to join the quest to defeat a monster army, according to the company. Using weapons such as the bow and arrow, Chakra, lightning and fire bolts, players can battle through different levels of combat and puzzle games. 

Telecom operator Jio will enable exclusive access of the game to its users, the statement said. The access will include 3D-Avatar features, special badges, game levels, among other add-ons.

"Krikey will inspire a generation of Indians to embrace Augmented Reality. Our vision is to bring the best  experiences from across the world to India and the introduction of Yaatra is a step in that  direction. Augmented Reality gaming takes the user into a world of its own, and we invite every Jio and non-Jio user to experience AR through Yaatra,” Akash Ambani, a director at Jio said.

The game, the statement said, is currently available on Google Play Store, and iOS app store. It is soon to be made available in Jio phone devices, the statement added.

The gaming startup was founded by sisters Jhanvi Shriram, a Stanford MBA graduate, and Ketaki Shriram, a Stanford PhD student, in 2017. The two have previously worked at YouTube, Facebook's Oculus and Google[x].

“Our vision with Krikey is to bring together inspiration and reality in an immersive way. With augmented reality, we are able to bring fantasy worlds into your home, straight through the  window of your mobile phone,” the founders said in a joint statement.

Krikey’s previous brand partnerships include Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Foundation and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In 2019, it launched its first location-based AR game (WINGSPAN) built with Google Maps and sponsored by the National Audubon Society, in the United States.

Action-adventure themed Yaatra will focus on the growing Indian mobile gaming market. Krikey mark’s oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance’s first investor interest in the sector, via Jio.

Read: Locked down India turns to online gaming to take the edge off

The gaming space in India has gained traction in the recent past-- the emergence of PUBG alternatives such as FAU-G, Paytm’s push in fantasy sports, Walmart-backed ecommerce platform Flipkart’s acquisition of the intellectual property rights of Bengaluru-based mobile gaming company Mech Mocha, being significant developments.

Another major consolidating player in India’s mobile gaming industry is Nazara Technologies. Other venture backed players in the space include Dream11, Mobile Premier League, and WinZO.

Over the years, Jio’s other investments in the Indian’s emerging digital businesses include conversation artificial intelligence company Haptik, and music streaming services company Saavn.