PUBG Maker Krafton has invested $5.4 million in Nautilus mobile, a mobile game development studio wholly owned by digital entertainment company JetSynthesys, for a minority stake.
Founded in 2013, Nautilus Mobile is a game studio known for its cricket-based mobile game series Real Cricket, which includes Real Cricket 16, Real Cricket 17, Real Cricket Champions League, Real Cricket Test Match, Real cricket Go and Real Cricket 20.
JetSynthesys, a digital entertainment and technology company, acquired 100% of Nautilus Mobile in October 2020 as part of its global foray into gaming, eSports, digital entertainment and interest-based social community platforms.
According to the startup, Nautilus mobile is one of the top-ranked simulation-based cricket franchises in the world, with more than 100 million downloads. It also claims to have a community of nearly 1 Cr monthly active users. (monthly active users).
"JetSynthesys' core vision and approach to the digital world is to play a key role in the digital lives of one billion Indians, while expanding globally. With Nautilus, we want to strengthen our mobile game," said Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Jet Synthesys, in conversation with Inc42.
"The expertise we've built is mobile gaming. India is strongly driven by smartphone-based games. We will also look at other sports genres. But all of this will certainly be led by a mobile-first experience," he added.
According to Navani, Nautilus generates revenue from three sources: programmatic advertising, in-app purchases, and in-game and real-world marketing partnerships with brands seeking visibility. While advertising accounts for the majority of its revenue, Navani predicts an increase in revenue from in-app purchases by customers in India.
In the past, JetSynthesys has partnered with celebrities like Sonu Nigam to mint irreplaceable tokens (NFT) and acquired eSports companies like Skyesports. Rajan Navani spoke with Inc42 about Natilius' plans to delve into the game-making games and blockchain space.
"On mobile devices, everything becomes freemium and free-to-play. Things are starting to change. Over the years, the behavior of gamers has changed. Today, freemium games are really driving the growth of the market," Navani said.
"So the move from free-to-play to games that make money is a trend that has started to happen. And we're watching it. If gamers have the opportunity to turn their playtime into an investment, we're willing to provide it," he added.
Navani also talked about how smart contracts could be set up to enable the company to earn a portion of future NFT sales, which could also become a new revenue stream for Nautilus.
"As the first game development studio in India, KRAFTON is excited to invest in them, with whom we share a common goal of creating more unique sports gaming experiences for the passionate Indian cricket audience. We are committed to enhancing the video game ecosystem in India and this is another step in that direction." said Sean Hyunil Sohn, Head of India, KRAFTON, Inc.
According to a report by The Boston Consulting Group and Sequoia Capital, the mobile gaming market opportunity in India is expected to nearly triple from $1.8 billion to $5 billion by 2025, a compound annual growth rate of 38%. It has a user base of more than 300 million and is growing as new adoption rates soar.
Last week, social media startup Hike raised an undisclosed investment from Ethernet Layer 2 scaling solutions startup Polygon to collaborate on the transition of Hike's Rush Gaming Universe from web2 to web3 technology.
Prior to that, IndiGG, the Web3 Games DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), had raised $6 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Variant Fund, Play Ventures Dune Ventures, and Jump Capital, among others.