Ratan Tata, Ola founders back MadRat Games

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd and one of India's most active angel investors, and Ola founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati have invested an undisclosed amount in Bangalore-based startup MadRat Games Pvt Ltd.

Freshdesk CEO Girish Mathrubootham and Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal, an existing investor, also put money in this round, MadRat said in a statement.

The company didn’t disclose the amount it raised in this round but said it has secured a total of $2.5 million so far.

The offline gaming products startup had, in November 2014, raised $1 million (around Rs 6.2 crore then) in funding from a clutch of investors, including Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. The company had also secured a total of about Rs 3.35 crore (almost $500,000 at current exchange rates) in 2012 from Blume Ventures and First Light India Accelerator Fund in separate rounds.

A spokesperson for the company said that the new capital will mainly be used for product development. Part of the funds will also be used for the pre-order campaign of its new wearable gaming platform SuperSuit, which is being rolled out commercially.

In January, Techcircle had reported that MadRat launched SuperSuit, a wearable gaming platform for kids and families at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. SuperSuit is a subsidiary of MadRat Games and a separate business entity based out of San Jose, California in the US.

While Madrat Games primarily offers board puzzle games for kids, SuperSuit is a wearable gaming gear that will work with gesture control technology, promoting outdoor play.

“Outdoor gaming is slowly losing its relevance owing to the shrinking outdoors in urban spaces and safety concerns in suburbs. We are determined to bring back gaming in its true avatar by amalgamating the concept of outdoor gaming with gesture-control technology,” said Rajat Dhariwal, co-founder of MadRat and CEO of SuperSuit.

SuperSuit, which will launch its pre-order campaign in September, has hired Rajiv Patel, creator of the first FitBit mobile app and an enterprise app for Dropbox, as the head of design. The company has also recruited Alice Brooks of US-based gaming company PlayMonster. However, it is not clear what will be her role and responsibility in Supersuit.

Founded in 2010 by three IIT alumni – brothers Manuj and Rajat Dhariwal, and Madhumita Haldar, MadRat Games offers innovative board games and puzzle games that help children learn educational topics through the concept of gaming. 

Prior to founding MadRat, Manuj worked with companies such as Compassites Software Solutions and Itsme S.r.l of Milan. Rajat worked at and was also a teacher in Rishi Valley School in Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh). He holds an MS degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Madhumita worked with Rhythm & Hues and, like Rajat, was a teacher at Rishi Valley School.

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