Lumikai, a New Delhi-based venture capital firm focussed on gaming and interactive media, has floated an early-stage fund to back local companies.
The fund has also hit the first close, Lumikai said in a statement. The fund says it is backed by investors from across the world, including gaming and technology companies from Japan, Finland, the US and South Korea.
However, it did not disclose the corpus of the fund or the identities of the Limited Partners (LPs) that invested in it.
Lumikai – founded by Justin Shriram Keeling and Salone Sehgal – also said that the fund has been sourcing deals in stealth mode and expects to begin announcing its first round of investments from the third quarter of this year.
Keeling said that Lumikai will invest at the pre-seed and seed-stage levels, and will also have allocation for a few Series A bets.
According to Lumikai’s website, Keeling – an alumnus of Durham University – has worked with several companies in the gaming and interactive segment, including G4 (originally owned by Comcast before being sold to Esquire), IGN International, GameSpy and Rotten Tomatoes. He has also been associated with PlaySona and UTV Games.
Sehgal is a graduate of the IESE Business School in Spain and has 14 years of experience in interactive media, gaming and mergers and acquisitions. Before Lumikai, she was a principal at LVP, a European seed-stage gaming-focussed VC firm. She has worked with Barclays and Morgan Stanley, and co-founded women-focussed gaming company TrulySocial.
Lumikai’s new fund comes even as interest in India’s gaming space continues to grow. While there have been some VC-backed firms that have raised funds, recent investments in the segment have come from strategic players.
In July, mobile game development studio Firescore Interactive Pvt. Ltd raised $500,000 (around Rs 3.73 crore) in a funding round led by multinational studio and publisher CrazyLabs.
Also that month, digital content, gaming and technology platform JetSynthesys Pvt Ltd raised around $40 million in funding led by the family offices of Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan.
In January, e-sports streaming platform Rheo raised $2 million in seed funding from a clutch of investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia’s Surge.
In November last year, casual social gaming startup SuperGaming raised $1.3 million in a seed funding round from Tokyo-based Dream Incubator and other investors.