Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara Technologies is back with an IPO plan – after a series of acquisitions and fundraisers

  • Nazara Technologies is backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, one of India’s largest equity investors.
  • The gaming and sports media company wants to join the competition of tech startups that want to go public this year. These include Zomato, Nykaa and Delhivery.
  • This is the second attempt at a market debut. Nazara had previously filed the DRHP in 2018 but fell through with the plans.
  • In the past two years, Nazara has made at least seven acquisitions and raised ₹ 500 crore in funds.

Indian gaming and sports media company Nazara Technologies has re-filed the Draft Red Herring Prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as the first step towards its market debut.

Nazara has the mobile gaming rights license for popular cartoon characters such as Chhota Bheem, Motu Patlu and Shikari Shambhu. It has also settled in 64 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

The public offering will lead to a sale of 4.96 million shares by the initiators and investors of Nazara.

This year, Nazara’s IPO debut could kick off a string of tech IPOs in the country as startups like Zomato, Nykaa and Delhivery are heading into the public markets.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara had first filed the DRHP in January 2018 and had even received approval from SEBI for an IPO (Initial Public Offering). However, it did not go through with the launch due to a market slump.

The company has prepared for its market debut with acquisitions and financing in its pot.


Strengthening its capital base

Nazara counts stock exchange giant Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, IIFL Asset Management, Sequoia Capital and Plutus Wealth Management among its investors.

Earlier in January 2021, WestBridge Ventures, an early investor in Nazara, had left the company through a secondary transaction when Plutus pumped ₹ 500 crore into the business. According to reports, the exit provided WestBridge 40 times the return on its investment.

Nazara’s Stakeholders

Promoter Effort
Mitter Infotech 20.57%
Arpit Khandelwal 12.51%
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala 11.38%
Plutus Wealth Management LLP 6.91%
IIFL Special Opportunities Fund 6.04%
IIFL Special Opportunities Fund – Series 4 4.94%
IIFL Special Opportunities Fund – Series 5 4.16%
IIFL Special Opportunities Fund – Series 2 3.89%
Nitish Mittersain 3.49%
Emerging Investment Ltd 1.90%
IIFL Special Opportunities Fund – Series 3 1.87%
Riyaz Suterwalla 1.73%
Turtle Entertainment 1.68%
Manish Agarwal 1.51%
Seedfund2 International 1.27%
Anshu Dhanuka 1.02%

Source: Moneycontrol

Nazara went on acquisition

Nazara strengthened its offering by going on acquisition. It has pumped more than $ 50 million to startups in the past two years.

In fact, its acquisition has even earned it a ‘next Tencent’ reference in one news report.

Some of Nazara’s best additions

Boot up Sector Investment
Paper Boat apps Indie studio in Mumbai ₹ 83.5 crore
Sports Unit Creator of a multiplayer quiz called Qunami ₹ 7.5 crore
Sportskeeda Sports media platform ₹ 44 crore
Bakbuck Game platform in local languages Not published
Halaplay Fantasy gaming platform ₹ 40 crore

In November 2019, Nazara Technologies said it plans to invest $ 20 million in startups next year. This announcement came after Nazara had already acquired five companies in the same year.

“Looking at the explosive growth of the interactive entertainment and sports ecosystem, Nazara has decided to invest more aggressively in the emerging markets ecosystem and to support early stage startups that accelerate the growth of these companies and the industry at large,” said Nazara Technologies CEO, Manish Agarwal had said then.

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