Giga Fun Studios, a startup in Bengaluru that specialises in casual gaming, today announced that it has raised $2.4 million in a seed round headed by Lumikai, India’s first gaming and interactive media-focused venture capital fund, and the consumer experts Fireside Ventures. In addition to Riverwalk Holdings, this round also included All In Capital, Kettleborough VC, and All In Capital.
The money will be used by the company to develop casual games of the highest calibre for Indian and international consumers, setting a new benchmark in the genre. The founders will invest extensively in constructing a top team as a hub for “best in India” casual game creators. The founders have years of expertise creating top casual games for India and the rest of the world at reputable developers like Zynga and m56.
They aim to focus on designing games with geo accessibility across the full game stack, including simple but compelling game loops, customised UI/UX design for domestic gamers, accessible pricing, and distribution via third party app stores. Their longer-term goal is to export the richness of Indian culture globally through casual metas, creating the King of India.
Three seasoned game developers and designers—Krishnendu Mukherjee (Former AVP and Head of Game Design at MPL, Former Lead Product Manager at Zynga), Rahul Daga (Former Director of Products at Zynga, Country Head at m56 Studios), and Rahul Shekhar—founded the firm (Former Engineering lead at m56 Studios). The founders have experience managing gaming P&Ls of $100M+ and have combined shipped and run more than 10 titles.
Expressing his views on the announcement, Krishnendu Mukherjee, Co-founder & CEO, at Giga Fun Studios said, “We have been brainstorming the idea of creating a Gaming studio that caters to the Indian audience and the core problem we mutually identified was that while current dominant casual games (such as Candy Crush) are very high in quality, they haven’t been able to fully unlock an Indian player base due to a lack of cultural resonance. This is additionally visible in the lack of monetization participation of the Indian player. With over 5 Bn downloads, India is one of the largest download markets for casual games. Our belief is that with the right themes and geo-specific mechanics, we will be able to crack adoption and monetization for casual games in India.”
Commenting on the investment, Justin Shriram Keeling, Founding General Partner, Lumikai said, “According to our recently released India State of Gaming 2022 report, 80% of gamers show a high proclivity to play games based on Indian IP. We believe that culture-themed casual games have the potential to unlock massive disruption in the gaming space in India. We’re excited to be partnering with Giga Fun Studios at an early stage, and look forward to supporting them with our deep gaming expertise & network on their mission to build a match3 engine that’ll allow them to build high-quality games, built specifically with geo-specific mechanics, localised game loops, unique distribution and India first monetisation.”
Commenting on the investment, Shreyans Gangwal, Vice President, Fireside Ventures said, “We at Fireside Ventures are excited to announce our very first investment in the gaming sector and partnering with the gaming expertise Rahul S, Krishnendu & Rahul D and bringing our expertise of consumer brands & marketing to create a class-leading casual gaming platform from India. Globally, gaming has already eclipsed movies & music by ~3x and is one of the largest and fastest emerging sectors of digital consumption. This will serve the unmet needs of Indian consumers to drive a multi-billion dollar market opportunity over the next few years. High quality, deeply localized games built on proven game formats with the right in-app purchase driven monetization are likely to be the first beneficiaries in the wave of gaming which is expected to be a $8.5bn+ market opportunity in India“.