Published: 1/12/2021

Good morning! It's Tuesday and Anmol back here with the updates. On to the news today and we have a gaming company raising some capital and a bootstrapped one making serious revenue. It's also probably the first time I'm talking about two gaming companies in a week, let alone a day so lets get on with it:

  • http://bit.ly/2MZgs61: Ludo King had a great 2020
  • ➡️ If you're from India, there is a high likelihood that you played this game on your phone in the last 9 months. I'm talking about the one and only Ludo King, who's parent company (Gametion Technologies) has hit some serious highs in 2020.

    ➡️ The company is the first Indian gaming app to cross 100M downloads and recently crossed 500M downloads, and during the pandemic they have grown their Monthly Active Users from

    110M to 142M & their Daily Active Users from 15M to 32M (a 2x increase!). The average player now spends 32 minutes on the app over several sessions- damn talk about a sticky product.

    ➡️ And the company also grew their revenue 4x to $20M in 2020, and are aiming for a 5x growth in 2021 to clock $100M in revenue. That's honestly quite insane for the company which hasn't raised any capital (that I can tell) and hasn't really developed a new game (Ludo has been a popular board game in the subcontinent for centuries).

    ➡️ Currently a majority of the company's revenue comes from their advertising platform, while a significant minority (~30%) comes from in-app purchases. Ludo King plans on growing the in-app revenue contribution and are also developing tournaments (physical and digital), which will certainly being a lot of sponsorship revenue to the platform as well.

    ➡️ 2020 has seen a significant amount of time spent on casual gaming- be it Ludo, Chess, Fortnite, Among Us or PUBG, and I can certainly see consumers continuing to spend time and money on casual gaming on their phones.

    2. http://bit.ly/38AV9zL: Zupee raises $10M from WestCap and Matrix

    ➡️ And continuing on the theme of gaming, we have the real-money trivia app Zupee raise another $10M from WestCap Group and existing backer Matrix Partners India. This brings the total capital raised by the company to $19M which also includes Smile Group, Orios Venture Partners and Falcon Edge Capital as its investors.

    ➡️ The idea behind Zupee seems quite simple- you pay to enter a trivia competition with a certain prize pool. And after playing the game, if you do well you win real money* (as coins on the app that can be transferred to your Paytm account).

    ➡️ Just like a bunch of other casual gaming apps, Zupee has seen a huge surge of users during the pandemic and has been growing exponentially month over month (I'm not sure how fast they're actually growing since the quote seem quite vague). But so far, users have won over 10 Cr on the app, with over 500k players.

    ➡️ This is also super interesting as the company's real-money product isn't even on the Google Play Store (since Google disallows real-money gaming), and the company has been able to get traction and grow despite that distribution channel.

    ➡️ The product really reminds me of the ill-fated HQ Trivia (which didn't have a buy-in or as many quizzes/day as Zupee does). Ultimately HQ Trivia failed because they couldn't get the economics to work but Zupee certainly is doing things a bit differently with the buy-in which certainly helps the model and I don't see any immediate barriers that would stop them from growing.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/borrowed_ideas/status/1348779137880760321

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