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Mumbai's Loco gets $9 million funding; PUBG parent Krafton among investors

Mumbai's Loco gets $9 million funding; PUBG parent Krafton among investors

Apart from Krafton, the Mumbai-based startup was backed by India's first gaming media fund Lumikai, Hiro Capital and early investors included 3one4 Capital and Axilor Ventures

Loco logo (Image: Pocket Aces website) Loco logo (Image: Pocket Aces website)

Pocket Aces-backed game livestreaming startup Loco has received $9 million from investors including PUBG's parent company Krafton Inc in its first-ever fundraising. The Mumbai-based startup was backed by India's first gaming media fund Lumikai, Hiro Capital and early investors included 3one4 Capital and Axilor Ventures.

This fund will be utilised to upgrade Loco's technology, content and the gaming startup will be spun off Pocket Aces with this funding, according to the startup's statement. Loco has expanded rapidly within the past one year, with monthly active users growing six times and monthly active streamers growing 10 times, it further added.

Livestreaming of games got a new lease of life in India during the COVID-19 pandemic as many people were locked inside their homes and tuned in to their smartphones for entertainment. Players Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile was among one of the most popular games in India before it got banned in 2020, following the clashes between the Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan valley.

"Cheap data and inexpensive plans brewed the perfect situation in India, creating a completely new category of entertainment," Loco co-founder Anirudh Pandita said, as mentioned by Bloomberg. Another co-founder of Loco, Ashwin Suresh, said Indian market's big focus is on mobile games and the best mobile gamers globally are most likely to come from India.

General Partner of Lumikai, Salone Sehgal said India's esports and gaming industry is likely to see a growth at an average annual clip of 36 per cent over the next three years whereas game streaming in India is already twice the global average.

Loco features India's best-known streamers playing popular games like Clash of Clans, FreeFire and Call of Duty Mobile besides hosting top esports teams and their tournaments.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with agency inputs

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