Krafton, the South Korean gaming company that gave us Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), announced a commitment to invest additional $150 million in India over the next two to three years. This will be added to the $140 million it has already invested in the homegrown gaming ecosystem and Indian startups so far – it has invested in the likes of Nodwin Gaming, Loco, Nautilus Mobile, and Pratilipi.
“We continue to hold a long-term view on India and its vibrant startup ecosystem, and we understand perfectly well that there are a number of reasons that can impact a company’s performance, including market conditions and consumer sentiment, among others, and we at Krafton will continue to support them,” Krafton said. BGMI, a revamped and localized version of the popular game PUBG, has already amassed a substantial user base. At its peak, BGMI had nearly 100 million users, and since its relaunch, it has reclaimed some of the lost ground by attracting around 30 million monthly active users in less than three months, making it a major player in India’s esports scene.
Krafton’s investment strategy includes supporting deep tech startups that can bring innovative changes to content creation and platforms. One-third of the $150 million investment is set to be allocated towards existing companies for their growth initiatives, another one-third towards driving investments in deep tech startups, and the remaining $50 million towards new startups. Krafton seeks to actively contribute to the growth of startups, providing them with the resources needed to accelerate their expansion.
Beyond game development studios, the company’s investments span diverse and complementary sectors, including, Esports, multimedia entertainment, content creation and audio platforms. In recent months, KRAFTON has expanded its focus to include the creator economy and deep tech, actively supporting startups in these emerging segments.
This new investment comes as a significant boost to the local gaming ecosystem, specially when government policies haven’t exactly been favouring the sector, on top of what is being seen as a ‘startup funding winter’ in the larger tech startup landscape. This also comes after the firm had secured permission to trial its BGMI game in the Indian market, following two previous bans. With the earlier investment, the total amount promised by Krafton to be driven into the Indian gaming and tech startup ecosystem now stands at about $290 million, making it one of the most prolific strategic investors in the country in recent times.
“We are not as mature as a growth stage investor, but not as early as seed stage one. We are positioning ourselves in this sort of area where the startup has proven the product market fit, and revenues have started to kick in, but they need a sizable funding to speed up the growth,” Sean Hyunil Sohn, CEO of Krafton India, commented on the matter.
“Our strategic investments are carefully chosen to align with our expertise and experience, empowering innovative ideas and startups to thrive. Since 2021, we have invested over $140 million in various startups and are thrilled by the progress our portfolio companies have made. Our investment momentum will continue as we seek to establish a dynamic and evolving portfolio across various segments in India,” said Nihansh Bhat – Corporate Development & Venture Investing Lead – India & MENA, Krafton.