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Nodwin Gaming raises 164 crore from PUBG developer Krafton

Nazara had invested into NODWIN Gaming in 2018. The company says this investment has created a value in excess of 6.44X in 3 years.
Nazara had invested into NODWIN Gaming in 2018. The company says this investment has created a value in excess of 6.44X in 3 years. (Nodwin Gaming)

The company plans to use the fund to expand its e-sports portfolio in South Asia, Middle East, and Africa.

Nodwin Gaming, an e-sports company and subsidiary of mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies, on Tuesday, said it had raised 164 crore of equity investment from South Korean firm Krafton.

Krafton is the creator of popular games such as PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS(PUBG), TERA, Golf King, and Castle Burn.

Following the deal, Nazara will continue to own a stake in excess of 50% in Nodwin Gaming. The company said that the funds would be utilised to accelerate the development of e-sports in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. It will also help support talent and develop better gaming infrastructure and technology.

“Esports will be a key pillar to the growth of sports entertainment in the future. It sits at a wonderful intersection of Sports, Entertainment and Technology where nations such as India can pave the path. With KRAFTON coming on board, we have an endorsement from the mecca of Gaming and esports - South Korea, on what we are building from India for the world based on our competence in mobile first markets. Gautam and I, the Co-Founders of NODWIN Gaming, continue our journey with all of our existing investors reinforcing their faith in us,” said Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director, NODWIN Gaming.

This round of funding follows previous investments from Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara Technologies Limited and from JetSynthesys Private Limited backed by Infosys Limited co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, said the company in a release.

The investment comes when Krafton is making efforts to bring back the popular PUBG Mobile in India. The game along with several other China-linked apps were banned by the Indian government last year. Interestingly, the company announced in November last year that it would bring back the game. The government, however, clarified it had not given any permission to the company.

According to an IGN report, Krafton had held talks with the likes of Reliance Jio, Airtel and Paytm to be its publisher in India. Evidently, the firm has not been successful. The report further pointed out that Krafton had taken over publishing duties from China’s Tencent following the ban. 

It announced a partnership with Microsoft to leverage the Azure cloud platform for its games. It also said that it would invest $100 million in India to boost local video game, e-sports, entertainment, and IT industries.

The report further pointed out that Krafton’s deal could set a new precedent wherein the banned apps return to India. It is worth noting that Tencent owns a 13.2% stake in Krafton.

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