Esports company Nodwin Gaming has secured $28 million in equity investment from five investors, including parent company Nazara, PUBG creator Krafton and digital entertainment firm JetSynthesys.
The funding round has raised Nodwin’s valuation to $349 million, the company said Thursday.
Prior to this, Nodwin had raised $22.4 million from Krafton at a valuation of $135 million in March 2021.
Nodwin co-founder and managing director Akshat Rathee said the new funds will be deployed for acquisitions to grow the intellectual property (IP) portfolio and expand to emerging markets.
Rathee said Nodwin is interested in multi-use IPs that work across geographies, games and genres. "We are looking at both building and buying IPs. We are also looking at firms that offer capacity and capability to expand to geographies where we don't have access. They may not have a lot of IPs but they will have the capability to help execute IPs in that region,” he added.
Last month, Nodwin acquired a 51% stake in Singapore-based mediatech startup Branded for their multiple event IPs in a deal valued at $1.3 million. Apart from South Asia and Singapore, Nodwin has offices in the Middle East and Turkey.
Nodwin is one of the leading esports companies in South Asia and has organized some of the biggest esports tournaments including ESL India Premiership and the BGMI Masters Series.
Last year, Nodwin partnered with Star Sports Network to telecast the BGMI Masters Series live on traditional TV for the first time, taking it to viewers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Typically, esports tournaments are streamed on over-the-top platforms.
The esports industry in India is still in a nascent stage as compared to the US, Japan and South Korea, but it is growing fast. To be sure, the number of esports players in India has grown four times from 150,000 in 2021 to 600,000 last year, according to gaming fund Lumikai. In terms of revenue, the Indian esports industry is expected to reach $140 million by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% from $40 million last year.
The industry also received a boost after esports was included as a medal sport for the first time in Asian Games in 2022.
“As we migrate to the next phase of our evolution, we would like to build a global company that is a significant thought leader and the largest player in the emerging market space,” said Rathee. Nodwin has grown at a CAGR of over 68% over the last two years, he added.