Gaming startup MadRat raises funding from Blume Ventures
Bangalore-based gaming startup MadRat Games Pvt Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount from Blume Ventures. Set up in 2009 by three IITians – brothers Manuj & Rajat Dhariwal and Madhumita Haldar – it has been a self-funded company, prior to this round.
The funding was announced by Blume Ventures on Twitter, and was first reported by Medianama. Techcircle.in will bring in more details after getting in touch with the founders.
In June this year, Rajat Dhariwal mentioned in an exclusive chat with Techcircle.in that the startup was in final stages of raising its first round of institutional funding. Although he did not provide further details, he said that the entire amount would be utilised to set up recurring income channels.
“Working with the state governments is fine, but it’s not a sustainable revenue model. We are now looking to generate a steady income through multiple channels,” he said at that time.
MadRat entered the market with its flagship product Aksharit, a scrabble game in Hindi, but is now offering games in several local languages such as Bengali, Punjabi and Telugu, and also in English. The company claimed that till June this year, Aksharit was used by as many as 24,000 schools in Chhattisgarh to make Hindi learning easy for kids. Besides the physical format, MadRat games are both PC and mobile compatible, and certain games are available on all touchscreen phones from Nokia.
Last year, Nokia launched one of its models with the MadRat games pre-installed in half-a-million handsets. It was also one of the six partners when Google launched its Chrome web store last year and you can find its language games there for free.
According to Rajat, the company generated around Rs 1.1 crore in revenues in the past three years. Commenting on competition, he noted that vernacular games are quite unique in the Indian context and no other company has come up with a Hindi language game yet (we have heard of Thiruthamizh, though, a vernacular game that will help those who have trouble learning Tamil).
Prior to MadRat, Manuj Dhariwal worked with companies such as Compassites Software Solutions and Itsme S.r.l of Milan. Rajat worked at Amazon.com and was also a teacher in Rishi Valley School in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. He holds an MS degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Madhumita worked with Rhythm & Hues and like Rajat, was a teacher at Rishi Valley School.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)
Blume Ventures Fund I is a $27.72 million seed and venture fund managed by Blume Venture Advisors Pvt. Ltd. It provides seed, early and venture capital to companies operating in India. The fund seeks to invest in data infrastructure, specialized finance, biotechnology, research and development, mobile application, real estate, movies and entertainment, human resource and employment services and consumer internet sectors. It typically invests between $0.05 million and $1.5 million in its portfolio companies.
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