Online gaming firm Play Games24x7 Pvt Ltd disclosed that it had raised funding from Tiger Global Management, a global hedge fund manager that has been a prolific investor in early-stage digital startups in India. Play Games24x7 has also rebranded its online rummy site Games24x7.com as RummyCircle.com.
Over the next one year, the startup plans to enter other online gaming markets. However, it did not specify when Tiger Global made the investment; neither did it share the quantum of funding.
The company was co-founded by Trivikraman Thampy (CEO) and Bhavin Pandya (COO). While Thampy is an IIT-Bombay graduate with a PhD in Economics from New York University, Pandya, too, completed his PhD in Economics from New York University. Prior to that, he had studied Electrical Engineering (also had interest in biomedical engineering) at Purdue University.
The duo had first set up a US-based firm called Games 24×7 Inc. besides the Indian firm. It is not clear if the funding has gone into the US firm or into the Indian entity.
“Most of us grew up playing rummy with our families. But once we hit 1 million registered users, it was clear that we needed to give rummy its own stage in India,” said Pandya.
Play Games24x7 is also investing in proprietary technology and business intelligence systems. Binand Sethumadhavan, head of business intelligence at Play Games24x7, said, “We track an enormous amount of data to determine what players enjoy and what they don’t. Standard tools of the trade like A/B testing and statistical analysis are rigorously applied.”
According to Phaneendra Divi, head of technology at Play Games24x7, “The online gamer wants speed and when he is playing for money, he wants this speed reliably. This is not an easy task in India where even today, there are severe last-mile internet issues. To give our players the smoothest experience, we spend the bulk of our time on core infrastructure components and ensure that as the business scales, the user experience continues to be just what the business team wants.”
Gaming as a sector has been seeing a lot of traction from investors lately. Some recent investments include Blume Ventures and Mumbai Angels investing in Pune-based Gaming startup Rolocule Games; IAN and Blume investing in social gaming startup HashCube and IAN putting money in Mumbai-based digital gaming startup Gamiana. It is also interesting to note the overlapping of investors in these companies.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)