Krafton-backed Loco snags $42 mn from South Korea’s Hashed, Catamaran Ventures, others
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Gaming platform Loco on Thursday said it has scooped up a Series A funding of $42 million (Rs 330 crore) led by South Korea-based venture fund Hashed. 

The round also saw participation from a clutch of investors including Makers Fund, Catamaran Ventures and Korea Investment Partners, with existing seed backers including Krafton, Lumikai, and Hiro Capital.The firm plans to invest the fresh money for the development of Indian gaming ecosystem and gaming community. 

Sc0ut, Mavi, Godlike's Jonathan, Villager Esports, 8Bit-Thug, Ghatak, Kaztro Gaming, Eagle GamingOP, S8ulSid, Clutchgod, Kaashvi, Xyaa, Rakazone, Rawknee and Ankkita are among India's most popular streamers.  

Whereas, BGMI, Call of Duty Mobile, Clash of Clans, Grand Theft Auto (GTA), and Valorant have communities.  

Loco also hosts tournaments in partnership with publishers such as Krafton, Activision, Ubisoft and Riot Games.  

The platform claimed it has a direct Application Programming Interface (API) linked integration with Krafton, to enable better viewing and streaming of games with the publisher.     

In addition, the company is working on in-game interfaces with other foreign partners.  

Loco has also partnered with companies such as the NBA, Logitech and Red Bull to launch esports initiatives in India.  

The firm further said that it will be investing in Web3.0, in working closely with content creators, and companies building intellectual property for gaming tournaments.      

“Loco is the leader in game streaming in India and has the country’s most engaged community of gamers on its platform. 

Users between the ages of 10 and 30 form the bedrock of gaming and e-sports communities worldwide and India is one of the most interesting global gaming markets, with 40% of its population belonging to this cohort,” said Ethan Kim, Co-Founder and Partner at Hashed.

Founded by Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, Loco claims that it has seen its daily active viewers scaling by 15 folds, monthly active viewers by 8 folds, monthly active streamers scaling by 5 times and live watch hours scaling by 78 times, since Jan 2021.“Loco is enabling users to interact with streamers in ways they could not have done before. We are enabling gamers to find their gaming clan - supporting streamers they love,” Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, Founders of Loco said in a joint statement.  

Gaming is a rapidly expanding industry, according to app metrics firm Sensor Tower, global app downloads reached 36.1 billion in the October-December quarter of 2021, up 2.7% year over year (YoY).

According to a November 2021 research by consulting company BCG and Sequoia Capital, gaming in India is currently worth $1.5 billion (about 1% of the worldwide market) and is predicted to treble in size to over $5 billion by 2025 as a result of the "mobile-first" phenomenon. Better cellphones, more internet access, popular titles, influencers, and the global pandemic have all fueled the sector. 

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