IPO-bound gaming and sports platform Nazara Technologies has announced raising Rs 100 crore in an equity round from Instant Growth Limited (IGL), an investment vehicle of the limited partners of Hornbill Orchid India Fund, a Mauritius based hedge fund.
The fund was an anchor investor in Indian technology companies IndiaMart and Affle ahead of their public offerings.
The transaction was advised by Hornbill Capital Advisers, a SEBI registered Indian advisory firm founded by former CEO of Avendus PE Investment Advisers, Manoj Thakur in 2014.
In its Draft Red Herring Prospectus filed with the market regulator SEBI in January, Nazara said that it will be issuing up to 11, 60, 093 shares in the company aggregating to approximately 3.75% of the full diluted paid-up share capital of the company. The capital will be utilised for operations, business development or investment towards business of the company and its subsidiaries, said the document.
Founded in 2000 by Nitish Mittersain, Nazara offers gamified early learning, eSports, mobile gaming as well as skill-based and fantasy trivia games on its platform.
Other investors on Nazara’s cap table include IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, good Game Trust as well as storied public markets investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala among others.
“We welcome Hornbill Capital’s entry into the Indian gaming ecosystem with their investment in Nazara. We are glad that they share our conviction and excitement on the future of the gaming sector in India and the value creation potential which gaming offers to the investors,” said Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara in a statement issued by the company.
Earlier this year, Plutus Wealth Management LLP and its associates provided a complete exit to Nazara investor Westbridge Ventures II Investment Holdings by buying shares worth Rs 500 crore in a secondary round.
“We have been closely following Nazara's journey over several years, as it evolved into a platform for gaming and gamified early learning. The leadership team of Nitish and Manish have built Nazara into an attractive ecosystem for some of the most promising entrepreneurial talent in the Indian gaming and early learning space,” Manoj Thakur, founder and managing partner at Hornbill Capital Advisers said in the statement.
Nazara says it has invested over Rs 300 crore in the Indian gaming ecosystem over the last five years.
It has made inroads into these sectors through multiple acquisitions including acquiring a majority stake in eSports platform Nodwin Gaming as well as Nextwave Multimedia in 2018. It also acquired a 51% stake in edutainment platform Kiddopia parent Paper Boat Apps in 2019 and game developer Sports Unity in the same year.