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OnMobile picks up stake in video game analytics startup rob0
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

OnMobile Global Ltd, which specialises in mobile value-added services, has picked up a minority stake in Canada-based rob0, which offers analytics for video game developers.

OnMobile spent around Rs 5.4 crore ($713,000) to pick up 25% stake in the company through its Canadian subsidiary, the company said in a stock-market disclosure.

"The deal will bring tremendous value to game developers wanting to make their games highly engaging to end-users,” said François-Charles Sirois, CEO at OnMobile.

rob0's AI-powered visual retention technology allows game developers to detect the exact moment in gameplay where users stop playing, saving them hundreds of hours of observation time and minimising go-to-market risks.

"We are thrilled to bring our expertise and participate in the success of OnMobile's new gaming offer,” said Richard Rispoli, CEO at Technologies rob0 Inc. 

Established in 2000, OnMobile says it delivers over 575 million daily music plays to its mobile customers worldwide. 

The Bengaluru-headquartered company claims it has a base of more than 1.68 billion users across several countries. 

Its consumer-based services are offered under the ONMO brand name, which the company launched in October 2016.

OnMobile divides its offering under two broad umbrellas: Carrier services and consumer services. Its carrier and subscription-based services include games, news and sports, videos, quizzes, and music.

A spin-off from homegrown IT giant Infosys, OnMobile was originally incorporated in the US under the name Onscan Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. 

It subsequently relocated to India and changed its name to OnMobile Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd in April 2001 and got its current name in August 2007. OnMobile was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India in 2008.

In September last year, the company diluted its 18% stake in Mumbai-based Jump Networks Ltd, which provides digital services to low-bandwidth mobile phone users.

In 2018, it acquired Swedish mobile app distribution platform Appland AB for up to $15 million.

Deals in the gaming segment

The rise of digital gaming’s popularity in India is largely due to the widespread use of smartphones. Many game developers are capitalising on rising smartphone usage to build their businesses, and some have scaled up rapidly and reaped dividends for investors.

Last month, online skill-based gaming app Zupee raised $8 million (Rs 60.38 crore) in its Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners India.

Last year, Dream11 Fantasy Pvt. Ltd became the first unicorn in the space in India after Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital completed an investment in the fantasy sports platform through a secondary share purchase.

Earlier in February, The Economic Times reported that several investors in the fantasy sports platform Dream11 are in talks to undertake a secondary transaction that may value it at $2.25 billion.

In December last year, Rein Games Pvt. Ltd, a real money-based skill gaming startup, raised Rs 5 crore in a seed funding round led by the family office of Ranjan Pai’s Manipal Education and Medical Group, and Titan Capital, a venture capital firm.

In September, mobile games developer Nazara Technologies acquired a majority stake in Delhi-based SportsUnity Pvt. Ltd, a gaming platform that operates online multiplayer quiz service Qunami.

In the same month, LivePools Pvt. Ltd, a startup whose online platform offers fantasy games based on skill, raised funding from Dan Bilzerian, a professional poker player and Instagram influencer.

In March last year, Mumbai-based fantasy sports startup HalaPlay Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 40 crore ($5 million at current exchange rate) in a Series A round from mobile game developer Nazara Technologies Ltd and casino gaming company Delta Corp Ltd.

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