Post IPO, Nazara Technologies plans on listing

Nazara Technologies, creator of the world’s most sought-after mobile cricket game concluded an $80 million (Rs 584 crore) initial public offering on Friday, fully utilizing a pandemic-induced hike in mobile gaming.

The Nazara Technologies IPO was subscribed 175.5 times when it closed on Friday—securing bids for 512,517,642 shares against an issue size of 2,920,997 shares. The IPO was an offer for sale of 5.29 million shares — equivalent to a 16.7% stake — in a price band of Rs 1,100-1,101 each. The IPO is expected to value Nazara at Rs 3,353 crore, which is more than eight times its annualized revenue for the first six months of 2020-21.

The Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed firm is looking to list in Mumbai later this month. It’ll be the first publicly traded gaming company in India.

Founded in 1999 by Nitish Mittersain as a mobile content company, Nazara Technologies has its operations in various sectors like interactive gaming, edutainment, infotainment, esports, gamified learning, and real-money gaming via a mix of investments and acquisitions. It aspires to cash in on the success of its World Cricket Championship (WCC) app, with India’s mobile gaming industry expected to nearly triple in value over the next two years, as per a report published by Hong Kong-based investment firm CLSA. It further added that inexpensive data, better 4G networks, and increasing smartphone penetration have helped the industry shoot up to $1.2 billion in India, with virus lockdowns boosting the expansion.

According to New Delhi-based Maple Capital Advisors, the sector has attracted investments of more than $500 million in the last six months.

“The pandemic has certainly accelerated the popularity of mobile gaming. Not only have we added users, but the time each user spends has also shot up,” Mittersain told AFP.

The game has been downloaded more than 180 million times since its launch in 2011 and attracts 15 million users each month, with seasonal hikes during cricket tournaments such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the World Cup.

Nazara Technologies, which earns most of its revenue from its esports and children’s e-learning platforms, witnessed its revenues escalate during India’s lockdown. “We’d have to do something spectacularly wrong to not do well at this point,” Mittersain said.