Nazara is building up esports muscle before Jio, Dream11 and others attack

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Nazara is building up esports muscle before Jio, Dream11 and others attack
Nazara Technologies, backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, debuted on the stock exchanges earlier this yearNazara
  • Esports is now the top contributor to Nazara’s revenue, which surged by 45% in the June 2021 quarter.
  • Nazara had earlier acquired Turkey-based game publisher Publishme, giving it a firm footing in the Middle East region.
  • It plans to leverage the Publishme acquisition to expand the presence of its network – which includes Nodwin Gaming and SportsKeeda – in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey.
Nazara Technologies, India’s first listed pure-play gaming company is betting big on esports. The company’s revenue from the segment has doubled in the last one year and the management believes that the acquisition of the Turkish company, Publishme, in June 2021, will further boost its prospects.

Esports, a category that refers to video game competitions, often in the form of multiplayer games played by professionals and amateurs alike, is the fastest growing segment for the company that counts billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala amongst its backers.

CLSA estimates that esports is a $100 million market ⁠— about a tenth of the larger $1.2 billion mobile gaming industry ⁠— that is set to see competition from biggies like Jio, Dream11, Mobile Premier League and Paytm First Games in the near future.

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But Nazara is building up muscle to take them on. The company’s revenue from esports doubled to ₹53.2 crore this year. Now, ₹2 out of every ₹5 rupees of its revenue comes from esports. Gamified learning contributes to just about the same.

Nazara is building up esports muscle before Jio, Dream11 and others attack
Nazara Technologies' revenue mixNazara Tech / Business Insider India / Flourish

Nazara reported a 45% surge in total revenue to ₹131 crore, with a net profit of ₹13.5 crore, for the April-June 2021 quarter. For comparison, it reported a loss of ₹21.7 crore in the same period last year.

Shares of Nazara Technologies were up by over 3% as of 11:20 a.m., on August 2. It debuted on the bourses earlier this year at ₹1,990 – a premium of over 80% on the issue price of ₹1,100. Despite the 25% rally in the last one month, the stock remains 4% lower than the listing price.
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Nazara is building up esports muscle before Jio, Dream11 and others attack
Nazara Technologies's share price in the last one monthBSE / Business Insider India / Flourish

“The recent acquisition of a majority stake in Publishme will further amplify our presence in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The acquisition will focus on building local execution capabilities cutting across key growth segments of freemium, gamified learning and esports,” said Manish Agarwal, chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.

Some of the notable names in t his network include Nodwin Gaming and SportsKeeda. Its focus markets include Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey.

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Nodwin Gaming, its subsidiary, organises esports tournaments and events, some of which include ESL Pro, in partnership with ESL Gaming, Redbull River Runes, Dreamhack India, among others.

“MENA is one of the fastest growing gaming markets, with an estimated market size of USD 4.8 billion and has over 160 million gamers in the region (of which 100 million are mobile gamers). Our alliance with Nazara offers a unique blend of network, global reach and local capabilities to further the growth of the gaming industry in the region,” Publishme CEO zgr zalp said, according to a PTI report.

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