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Nazara Technologies, a Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed gaming firm files IPO papers with Sebi

Tabish Neyaz

According to draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) filed on Thursday, Nazara's IPO will see a sale of 49,65,476 equity shares.

‘Nazara Technologies, a Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed gaming firm files IPO papers with Sebi,’ a move that depicts the future of gaming in India. As the pandemic hit year 2020 went mostly in lockdowns in various phases, gaming has grounded its roots firmly in India. It is also evident from the launch of FAU-G immediately after the ban of PUB-G that gaming is here to stay. One cannot ignore its ‘boom’ as it goes on to build a promising industry in India. One such testimony to it is Nazara Technologies launching its IPO, a first of its kind. It came after mobile entertainment takes off across the world’s No.2 smartphone arena.

According to draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) filed on Thursday, Nazara’s IPO will see a sale of 49,65,476 equity shares by the promoters and existing shareholders. Headquartered in Mumbai, the startup’s impending debut on the local exchanges could encourage other Indian startups to tap public markets, after years of explosive growth in mobile and internet usage created giant private firms from Paytm to Walmart Inc’s Flipkart.

The gaming firm, Nazara Technologies has already filed preliminary papers with capital markets regulator Sebi to launch an IPO. Backed by a noted investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the company is popularly known for its games on World Cricket Championship, Chota Bheem and Motu Patlu series.

The selling shares in the IPO include Mitter Infotech LLP – a promoter of the company, IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, Good Game Investment Trust (NSE 3.24%), IndexArb Securities and Azimuth Investments.

About Nazara Technologies!

Nazara Technologies was founded in 1999 by Nitish Mittersain, who is the Joint Managing Director of the firm. Mittersain started the company with 30 million rupees borrowed from friends and family, only to get derailed during the dotcom bust. The firm spent its first decade clearing debt, but steadily built market share by acquiring fellow gamin startups.

It’s now looking to be among the first major Indian startups to go public at a time of budding investor interest in the country’s technology sphere. Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are pouring billions into partnerships with local operator Jio Platforms Inc., while Inc. founder Jeff Bezos has said that “the 21st century is going to be the Indian century.”

The company is of the impression that listing of equity shares will enhance its brand name and provide liquidity to the existing shareholders. The company went on to say that the listing will also provide a public market for equity shares in India.

ICICI Securities, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Private Limited, Jefferies India Private Limited and IIFL Securities are book running lead managers to the issue.

The Equity shares are proposed to be listed on BSE and NSE.

Nazara Technologies has come a long way!

It is not the first time that the company filed preliminary papers with Sebi, they filed it earlier in February 2018 and had received approval to float the IPO, but the firm did not launch the issue.

Earlier this month, WestBridge Ventures II Investment Holdings – a fund managed by WestBridge Capital – took an exit from Nazara by selling shares worth over Rs 500 crore  to Plutus Wealth Management LLP and its associates.

During 2017, WestBridge had sold shares to IIFL Special Opportunities Fund and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala for Rs 327 crore and Rs 182 crore respectively in Nazara.

The company has undertaken investments and acquisitions in various gaming categories, including esports, edutainment, infotainment, fantasy sports, multiplayer games like carrom and mobile cricket games, among others to strengthen its position in the gaming and sports media space.

Nazara owns IPs, including WCC and CarromClash in mobile games, Kiddopia in gamified early learning, NODWIN and Sportskeeda in esports and esports media, and Halaplay and Qunami in skill-based, fantasy and trivia games.

Also Read: IPOs in 2021: A Stock Market extravaganza yet again?


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