Paytm, Alibaba gaming JV to raise $25 million

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Paytm First Games, a joint venture (JV) between Alibaba Group’s AGTech and Paytm, is in talks to raise $25 million from new investors, including SAIF Partners and a Hong Kong-based entity, according to two sources briefed on the matter. The identity of the Hong Kong-based investor could not be ascertained independently.

After Paytm Mall (the e-commerce business), this would be the second entity that would raise new capital from external investors. Paytm First Games, which has a mix of free and paid games, competes with the likes of Sequoia Capital India and Times Internet*-backed Mobile Premier League and Dream11.

It was started in 2018 under the Gamepind brand and recently got re-branded as Paytm First Games. This is part of Paytm’s plan to build a bouquet of products under the Paytm First brand, which already has a paid-subscription programme that offers free access to video streaming, dining offers, etc. Paytm and AG Tech, which runs lottery and mobile games businesses, have invested $16 million in the venture.

An email sent to SAIF Partners did not elicit any response on the matter.

When contacted, Sudhanshu Gupta, COO of the gaming unit, declined to comment on the fund-raise, but said the platform has grown multifold in the last one year. “We now have about 30 million users on our platform with half of them being monthly active users. On our paid games, people spend around Rs 4,000 on games like Rummy, while the spends are to the tune of Rs 400 in fantasy leagues, etc,” said Gupta.

According to him, the gaming unit has an annual revenue run-rate of $50 million. The company is looking to double down on its current team size of over 150 people as it looks to invest in its technology platform and build e-sporting events too.

[“source=economictimes.indiatimes.”]