Private equity investor Matrix Partners has invested in Head Infotech India, a Hyderabad-based game development firm. The deal amount was not disclosed.
Avnish Bajaj of Matrix Partners told VCCircle, “The deal was done 4-5 months ago and it was for a significant minority stake. We believe that Ace2three is at the intersection of social and skill based gaming and has a world class user interface and that is the reason we have invested in it. The team has seasoned professionals.” The promoters of Head Infotech are Deepak Gullapalli and Anand Nagloor. The site was launched in 2007 and went commercial 1.5 years ago. It has 85,000 registered users and witnesses 40,000 active players per month, according to Gullapalli.
The firm consisting of 25 employees and has been cash flow positive, according to Bajaj. He said the firm has grown 6x over the past 6 months. The massively multiplayer online gaming (MMOG) portal is targeted at the domestic market and offers casual card games along with social networking features such as chat.
Ace2Three.com is an online multi-player gaming portal offering the popular Indian card game Rummy. The game can be played either after downloading or as a browser game. The download was a heavy 5.93MB file and users have to be connected to the Internet to register and login.Currently, 70% of the players choose the downloadable version.
There are various options while playing – 2, 4, 6 player games, tourneys and different pool sizes and promotional offers are also available. The website’s focus will continue to remain on Rummy with more formats – private tables and tournaments, said Bajaj.
“Online gaming has a lot of potential and Rummy is an addictive, sticky game. A single user plays an average of 10 games per day,” said Gullapalli.
According to the website’s terms and conditions, the revenue model appears to be a one-time payment for a game: “Head Infotech India Private Limited will collect a service charge for every Real Cash Tournament played. This percentage could change from time to time and from tournament to tournament.”
Bajaj said, “It is a fee-based model, where the company takes 15% of the prize money.”
Ace2three has a Facebook application ready and will launch in 2 months’ time. A mobile version is also in the research and development phase and will be ready in 6 months, said Gullapalli, adding that he was waiting for 3G to pick up first. He said the company is also adding more social features, extending the chat to a buddy list.
Competitors include Games24x7.com, which was set up in March 2009 yet carries the Beta tag and the very recent ClassicRummy.com by Innopark India, another Hyderabad-based firm. “We do not see competition as a threat since players are on both portals,” said Gullapalli.