Esports is still pretty nascent in India, with a only a rare section of startups actually getting into it. Challenges are multiple, including lack of proper infrastructure, no Government regulations and lack of investor interest. That however, hasn’t stopped GamingMonk — a Delhi-based esports startup — to raise a $100K strategic investment from Japanese media company, GameWith.
Founded in 2014 by Abhay Sharma and Ashwin Haryani, GamingMonk claims itself to be the largest community focused esports startup in India. The company’s vision has been to build an ecosystem for gamers through prize tournaments, gaming content and many other engagement programs.
GamingMonk’s strategic partnership is expected to build on synergies, support and collaboration for the Indian gaming industry. GamingMonk raised a seed round last year from Incubate Fund, Rajan Anandan, Stellaris Ventures, Smile Group, AdvantEdge Founders and Samir Khurana. The funding is being used for product development, team building and brand marketing. GamingMonk claims to have grown its user base by 500% in the last six months.
Takuya Imaizumi, CEO of GameWith, Inc., said, “The gaming industry in India has strong growth potential and GamingMonk, led by a strong management team, is well-positioned to further benefit from industry trends. We are excited about the company’s growth prospects and proud to have this opportunity to support the journey.”
India’s gaming industry is still pretty much in its infancy. The online gaming industry in India is expected to generate a revenue of Rs. 11,900 Cr by FY 2023. The number of gamers have crossed 250 mn (Expected to reach 628 mn by 2020) from 25mn in 2010, according to a report by consulting major KPMG and industry’s self-regulatory body, Indian Federation of Sports Gaming.
Globally too, despite multi-million dollar tournaments, esports are still not as mainstream as other regular sports. Last year though, a major breaktrhough was achieved, when esports featured as a demonstration sport in the Asian Games — the second largest multi-sports tournament on earth after Olympics.