Flipkart acquires Accel, Blume-backed gaming startup Mech Mocha
Photo Credit: Reuters

Flipkart has acquired mobile gaming startup Mech Mocha Game Studios Pvt. Ltd, as the online retailer looks to boost user engagement amid an intensifying battle for market share with Inc. and Reliance Industries Ltd.

The transaction comprises the acquisition of Mech Mocha’s intellectual property as well as its team of professionals, who will develop new gaming formats, Flipkart said in a statement. It didn’t disclose the deal value.

The deal provides an exit opportunity to Mech Mocha’s venture capital backers Accel, Blume Ventures, Shunwei Capital, South Korea’s Neoplux and a fund run by Japanese mobile gaming company Akatsuki.

Mech Mocha was started by Arpita Kapoor and Mohit Rangaraju in 2014. It raised $1 million in seed funding in late 2015 from Blume and Flipkart.

Flipkart exited the company a year later when Accel and China’s Shunwei led a Series A funding round in Mech Mocha, according to VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital. Neoplux and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund invested in the gaming firm in 2018.

Mech Mocha operates live-social gaming platform ‘Hello Play’. It also a dozen popular multiplayer games like Ludo, Carrom, Snakes & Ladder and Cricket in seven Indian languages. The company claims that social mobile gaming is poised for massive growth and adoption in India. 

“This strategic backing of Flipkart provides us an opportunity to be part of a larger ecosystem that helps us create unique social gaming experiences for Indian users. We look forward to leveraging Flipkart Cloud Platform, Super Coins, Reward store and Flipkart Ads platform to strengthen the platform for our users,” said Kapoor. 

Flipkart vice-president Prakash Sikaria, who leads the e-commerce giant’s gaming vertical, said this acquisition will strengthen the company’s gaming domain by turning many casual gamers into online shopping customers. 

“We see many first-time e-commerce users come online through formats such as video and games, as they build familiarity with the medium. Our observations of Flipkart GameZone, reflect this trend as we see a strong correlation between casual gamers becoming early shoppers on Flipkart for their digital journey,” Sikaria said. 

Flipkart boasts of over 250 million registered customers on its platform that offers over 150 million products across more than 80 categories. The company’s main competitor is Amazon but both e-tailers face a growing threat from Reliance, which has been ramping up its JioMart grocery venture and other online and offline retail businesses.

Deals in India’s gaming space

The acquisition marks the latest move in the Indian online gaming sector, which has seen growing strategic and investor interest. 

In August, New Delhi-based Lumikai announced that it had floated and hit the first close of an early-stage fund to back local companies. Lumikai – founded by Justin Shriram Keeling and Salone Sehgal – will invest at the pre-seed and seed-stage levels and will also have allocation for a few Series A bets. 

Also that month, multi-game platform Gamezop raised $4.3 million (around Rs 31.95 crore) in a Series A round led by Bitkraft Ventures. Other participants included Velo Partners, FJ Labs, and Survam Partners. 

In July, mobile game development studio Firescore Interactive Pvt Ltd raised around Rs 3.7 crore in a funding round led by multinational studio and publisher CrazyLabs.

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