Flipkart and Snapdeal, two of India’s biggest ecommerce platforms, have come together in a rare instance to seed-fund a startup. MadRat Games, a Bangalore-based offline gaming company which builds educational board games, has raised $1 million funding from the founders of Flipkart and Snapdeal along with a group of investors.
While Flipkart founders invested in the company in November, Snapdeal founders invested recently. Along with them, Rajul Garg, Sanjay Singh, Manoj Agarwala and Tarun Upadhyay, Vikas Choudhury, Sandeep Bordia and Globevestor have also invested in the company.
As the product of the company is being sold via offline channel, the company will use fund for branding, marketing and expansion of its business.
Founded in 2010 by Rajat Dhariwal, Madhumita Halder and Manuj Dhariwal, the team of MadRat has now grown to about 30 people. It has inhouse IP of more than 70 games and has capacity to produce 3-4 new games every month. It started with a vision to provide active engagement to children.
MadRat has introduced a twist to traditional board games by extending their lifespan, bundling more games into one to ensure seamless learning experience. It has added card games based on the pictures in the jigsaw or getting players to hunt for tiny characters hidden in the puzzle with a magnifying glass.
Each of the games are priced at Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 and are available in 400 stores across 10 cities and on Flipkart and Snapdeal. It has sold 60,000 units of the five games it launched in January, as per the company.
The company is betting big in the Indian toy industry, which is estimated to worth around Rs. 13,000 crore in 2015, compared to Rs 8,000 crore in 2013, according to a research by Assocham. Earlier, the company had a product-centric approach but now it has come up with a brand new look for its games and also rethought its distribution strategy.
In a bid to go global will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in August. If it does so, the company will compete with the likes of global giants Hasbro and Mattel.