Loco, a gaming company, based in India, has secured $42 million in funding spearheaded by South Korea’s early-stage startup fund, Hashed, as a gaming fever sweeps the nation of almost 1.4 billion inhabitants.
On Thursday, the live-streamed games company announced that it had raised a Series A round of funding from new investors such as Makers Fund, outsourcing billionaire Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, and Korea Investment Partners as existing investors such as Krafton Inc., Lumikai Ltd., and Hiro Capital.
According to two sources familiar with the transaction who did not want to be identified, the financial injection will increase the value of the two-year-old business to about $200 million. As the firm is formally known, Loco Interactive Pte did not respond to a request for comment on the value.
According to a press statement from Loco, the money will be used to accelerate the development of streaming technologies, content production, and the gamer and creator ecosystem.
In India, live-streamed games are still in their infancy, in contrast to nations such as the United States, South Korea, and Japan, where they are a common form of entertainment and have become popular. Mobile devices are the primary means of accessing and playing games in India. At the same time, console-based and PC-based gaming are popular in more developed gaming markets like the United States.
A-Zoom interview with Anirudh Pandita, co-founder of Loco, revealed that the country had 400 million players at any one time. “Younger Indians are spending an increasing amount of time in the virtual world, and gaming is transcending the borders between urban and rural areas.” Since January of last year, the number of daily users on Loco has increased by more than 15 times, and the number of “live watch hours,” or the amount of time users spend watching live-streamed games, has increased by about 80 times, according to Pandita.
With the help of a third founder, Aditi Shrivastava, Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, another co-founder of Loco, met as engineering undergraduates at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduating and working on Wall Street, they formed Pocket Aces Pvt., a digital studio that produces streaming content as an alternative to traditional television entertainment. Last year, the gaming firm was split out from Pocket Aces, and Shrivastava, married to Suresh, continues to serve as the company’s CEO.