Indian developer Giga Fun Studios has raised $2.4 million in a seed funding round led by Fireside Ventures and Lumikai, with participation from All in Capital, Riverwalk Holdings, and Kettleborough VC.
The Bengaluru-based company was founded by Zynga alumni Krishnendu Mukherjee and Rahul Daga and former m56 Studios engineering lead Rahul Shekhar, and plans to use the money raised to develop next-generation casual games for players in India and worldwide and expanding its team.
“We have been brainstorming the idea of creating a gaming studio that caters to the Indian audience and the core problem we mutually identified was that while current dominant casual games are very high in quality, they haven’t been able to fully unlock an Indian player base due to a lack of cultural resonance,” said CEO Mukherjee.
“This is additionally visible in the lack of monetization participation of the Indian player. With over five billion downloads, India is one of the largest download markets for casual games. Our belief is that with the right themes and geo-specific mechanics, we will be able to crack adoption and monetization for casual games in India.”
Resonating with Indian gamers
“According to our recently released India State of Gaming 2022 report, 80 per cent of gamers show a high proclivity to play games based on Indian IP,” said Lumikai founding general partner Justin Shriram Keeling. “We believe that culture-themed casual games have the potential to unlock massive disruption in the gaming space in India. We’re excited to be partnering with Giga Fun Studios at an early stage, and look forward to supporting them with our deep gaming expertise and network on their mission to build a match3 engine that’ll allow them to build high-quality games, built specifically with geo-specific mechanics, localised game loops, unique distribution and India first monetisation.”
Fireside Ventures believes that a focus on gaming can help meet the needs of Indian consumers. “We at Fireside Ventures are excited to announce our very first investment in the gaming sector and partnering with the gaming expertise Rahul S, Krishnendu and Rahul D and bringing our expertise of consumer brands and marketing to create a class-leading casual gaming platform from India,” said vice president Shreyans Gangwal.
“Globally, gaming has already eclipsed movies and music by 3x and is one of the largest and fastest emerging sectors of digital consumption. This will serve the unmet needs of Indian consumers to drive a multi-billion dollar market opportunity over the next few years. High quality, deeply localised games built on proven game formats with the right in-app purchase driven monetization are likely to be the first beneficiaries in the wave of gaming which is expected to be a $8.5bn+ market opportunity in India.“
Last year, we wrote that India may overtake China as the world’s biggest mobile-first market.