Studio Sirah, a next-gen game studio that builds unique Indian-themed games, announced today that it raised $2.6 million in a Pre-series A round led by Kalaari Capital (an early-stage, technology-focused VC firm), and its seed investor, Lumikai (India’s pioneering gaming, and interactive media focused VC fund). The company plans to utilise the funds to globally launch its flagship gaming title, Kurukshetra: Ascension, by June 2023. In addition, the funds will also help to build out their second title, which will go even further in terms of ambition and scope.
With over 120K organic downloads in beta, Kurukshetra-Ascension is available in early access on Play Store and Steam. A dedicated follower base on Instagram and a close-knit Discord community that has helped build and test the game from its MVP days reveals a growing appetite for India-based gaming content. Their current user base is deeply engaged, with a DAU/ MAU ratio exceeding 20% and average session times of over 25 min.
Commenting on the investment Vamshi Krishna Reddy, Partner at Kalaari Capital
said, “The Midcore genre like CCGs has done well globally, including China and Japan – but is severely under-penetrated in the Indian market. There is immense potential for more core IPs to come out of India. When we first met Abhaas and Prateek, we were in awe of the passion with which they were building Kurukshetra and saw a clear whitespace. With stellar artwork and innovative gameplay – Kurukshetra has already garnered a lot of appreciation from users and we are excited with what lies ahead.”
Commenting on the investment Justin Shriram Keeling, Founding General Partner, Lumikai said, “We’re immensely proud of Abhaas and Prateek for building such a high quality midcore game studio over the last year. Kurukshetra Ascension has been lighting up the community and is widely anticipated ahead of its full release next quarter. Our recently published ‘India State of Gaming 2022 survey indicates that 80% of players have a strong tendency to play games with Indian IP., and we believe that games with culturally resonsant themes have the potential to significantly disrupt the Indian gaming market – especially in the midcore category. We’re excited to see Studio Sirah evolve to the next stage in their vision to create world-class IPs with culturally resonant content.”
Kurukshetra: Ascension is the first title from a team of two brothers, Abhaas Shah and Prateek Shah, avid gamers with strong technical backgrounds. They aim to build a new white space in the gaming industry with their rich Indian themed IPs that are gaining huge popularity across the globe. Prior to this, Studio Sirah had raised $830,000 in September, 2021 in its Seed round led by Lumikai and a pool of renowned angels such as Akshat Rathee (founder, Nodwin Games), Alexis Bonte (chief operating officer, Stillfront Games), Piyush Shah (cofounder, Inmobi), Roshni Rathi (partner, BCG), and Sameer Pitalwalla (Head Of Gaming, Google Cloud).