Nazara acquires Indian mobile cricket game leader

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MUMBAI: Indian mobile games publisher Nazara Technologies has acquired a majority stake in Chennai-based Nextwave Multimedia, a firm popular for its mobile cricket games.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The casual and multiplayer-focused games studio is best known for its mobile game World Cricket Championship (WCC).

With the acquisition, Nazara, has strengthened its portfolio of offerings in the virtual interactive sports genre in India and other emerging markets, the company stated. 

The acquisition comes after Nazara’s investments in Mastermind Sports, Moonglabs, and more recently HalaPlay.

The popularity of WCC franchise offers Nazara an ideal platform for ushering in virtual reality arcades and launching m-sports around cricket in India.

Nextwave claims that WCC2 is among the top 10 games in India in terms of time spent playing the game and the number of monthly active users, as per industry data by App Annie lists .

The WCC franchise, with its twin game offering, has approximately 15 million monthly active users as of November 2017, Nextwave asserts.

Nazara already has partnerships with Virat Kohli and Royal Challengers Bangalore. This acquisition will further help Nextwave augment brand WCC among Indians worldwide, the two firms jointly stated.

“Nextwave offers a strong promise of dominating the space globally with its massive fan base and a very strong product offering,” said Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Games.

“The complementary skill sets of Nextwave and Nazara, and the synergy in between is sure to accelerate growth of Nextwave in coming years. Nazara’s expertise in creating scalable and profitable business models around consumer transactions globally will give us the needed impetus to grow along with them,” said PR Rajendran, founder and CEO, Nextwave.

In December, asset management firm India Infoline Finance’s Special Opportunities Fund had acquired a minority stake worth Rs 3.3 billion in Nazara. Soon after that, Big bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala picked up stake worth Rs 1.8 billion. 

The Economic Times has reported that Nazara is set to launch its IPO later this year. 

Adding Jhunjhunwala’s investment, the company has accumulated close to Rs 5 billion in pre-IPO placements done through a secondary transaction.

An early investor WestBridge Capital looks to gain a return that is 40-50 times its initial $ 3 million investment made in 2005, Moneycontrol reported.