PUBG Developer Krafton To Invest INR 164 Crores In Gurugram- Based Company “Nodwin Gaming”


South Korean video game holding company and PUBG Mobile developer, Krafton Inc, has invested INR 164 Crores or USD 22.4 million of equity investment for a 15% stake, into Indian gaming company and e-sports, Nodwin Gaming. Krafton is best known for intellectual properties and games such as PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds (PUBG), TERA, Golf King, Castle Burn among others

This is Nodwin’s third round of funding as it has already raised funds from Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara Technologies Limited and from JetSynthesys Private Limited, backed by Infosys Limited co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. According to Fintrackr’s estimates, Nodwin has been valued at around Rs 1,100 crore after the current investment round.

Nazara invested in NODWIN Gaming in 2018 and this investment has created a value in excess of 6.44x in three years. With this latest round, NODWIN has raised a total of ₹200 Crores since its inception in 2014.

Founded in 2014, Nodwin Gaming creates IPs, content, and tournaments in partnership with global publishers and partners including ESL, Valve, Krafton, Riot, and Blizzard. The company has content partnerships with broadcasters such as MTV on linear TV, Disney+ Hotstar, YouTube, and Airtel.

Following this Krafton-Nodwin deal, Nazara will continue to own a stake in excess of 50% in Nodwin Gaming. The company said that the funds would be utilised to accelerate the development of e-sports in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. It will also help support talent and develop better gaming infrastructure and technology.

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“Esports will be a key pillar to the growth of sports entertainment in the future. It sits at a wonderful intersection of Sports, Entertainment and Technology where nations such as India can pave the path. With KRAFTON coming on board, we have an endorsement from the mecca of Gaming and esports – South Korea, on what we are building from India for the world based on our competence in mobile first markets. Gautam and I, the Co-Founders of NODWIN Gaming, continue our journey with all of our existing investors reinforcing their faith in us,” said Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director, NODWIN Gaming.

“KRAFTON is excited to partner with NODWIN Gaming to help foster the promising e-sports ecosystem and engage with our fans and players in India. Taking the momentum from this partnership, we will explore additional investment opportunities in the region to uphold our commitment and dedication in cultivating the local video game, e-sports, entertainment, and tech industries” said Changhan Kim, CEO of KRAFTON.

Few Questions Being Raised With The Deal

While the investment might look promising on the face of it, there are quite a few legitimate questions and doubts they cast in the background. Krafton has been attempting to collaborate with a local organization to get PUBG Mobile unbanned in India. According to an IGN report, Krafton had held talks with the likes of Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Paytm to be its publisher in India. Evidently, the firm has not been successful.

And Krafton’s current head of corporate development for India is an ex-employee of Nazara, the parent company of Nodwin. This brings up the question of the due diligence regarding this deal was done in the first place. Krafton even went on to say that it is “working hard to bring back PUBG Mobile in India”.

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