The pandemic boosted livestreaming of games in India, which has no history of gaming on consoles or computers, as the hundreds of millions trapped indoors turned to their smartphones for entertainment.
Loco, an Indian video game streaming platform, raised $9 million in its first round of funding from investors including South Korean gaming developer Krafton Inc. to capitalize on the growing popularity of games-based entertainment in the South Asian nation. Lumikai Ltd., India’s first gaming media fund, London-based Hiro Capital, and early stage investors 3one4 Capital and Axilor Ventures also contributed to the Mumbai-based startup’s seed round. Loco plans to utilize the capital to improve its technology and content, according to a statement released on Monday. Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch and DouYu International Holdings Ltd.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Huya Inc.’s Hu Hundreds of millions of people in India, which has little history of gaming on consoles or computers, turned to their smartphones for entertainment during the pandemic, giving the genre a boost. Before it was banned last year, Krafton’s PUBG Mobile, which was formerly sold in India by Tencent Holdings Ltd., was one of the most popular games in the country. It is now re-entering the market.
Pandita and Ashwin Suresh met as engineering freshmen at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and created Loco Interactive Pte, as the company is formally known. After working on Wall Street, the pair founded Pocket Aces Pvt, a digital studio that creates streaming content as an alternative to traditional television programming. According to the release, the game firm would be spun off from Pocket Aces with this cash.
Loco has grown at a breakneck pace in the last year, with monthly active users up sixfold and monthly active streamers over tenfold. According to the firm, YouTube, which is owned by Google, is its major competition right now.
“Gamers account for more than two-thirds of India’s millennials,” said Salone Sehgal, Lumikai’s general partner. Over the next three years, India’s esports and streaming business is expected to develop at a 36 percent annual rate, while game streaming watch time in India is currently twice the world average, he noted.
Loco’s roster includes some of the country’s most well-known streamers, who play games like Clash of Clans, FreeFire, and Call of Duty Mobile. It also hosts prominent esports teams and competitions, despite the fact that the genre is still relatively unknown in India.
“India is putting a lot of emphasis on mobile games,” Suresh remarked. “India will undoubtedly produce the best mobile game gamers in the world.”