Loco, an Indian video game streaming startup, has reportedly received USD 9 million in funding from investors, which includes the South Korea-based gaming company Krafton Inc. This marks Loco’s first effort of raising funds to leverage the benefits of the growing popularity of game-based entertainment in India.
The Mumbai-based company was also supported during its seed funding round by India’s first fund for gaming & interactive media, Lumikai Ltd, and Hiro Capital from London. On the other hand, Axilor Ventures and 3one4 Capital are some of Loco’s early-stage investors.
Loco will utilize these funds to improve its content and technology. Amazon’s Twitch, DouYu International Holdings Ltd., and China’s Huya Inc. have popularized live streaming video games across the world. India, however, had no such history of desktop and console gaming. But since the beginning of the pandemic, the gaming sector received significant demand in the country as millions of people locked inside their houses used smartphones as a source of entertainment.
Krafton’s highly popular battle royale game ‘PUBG Mobile’ was distributed in India by Tencent Holdings Ltd. However, it was banned in 2020 for political reasons and is making a return to the Indian market in 2021.
The startup, which is officially named Loco Interactive Pte, was co-founded by Ashwin Suresh and Anirudh Pandita. The duo initially founded Pocket Aces Pvt, a studio dedicated to developing streaming content as a substitute to conventional television entertainment. Using these funds, Loco will serve as a Pocket Aces spin-off, as stated by the company.
Lumikai’s General Partner Salone Sehgal, apparently said that over 75% of millennials in India are gamers. It is estimated that the streaming and esports industry in India will showcase significant growth over the next three years. To add to that, the watch time of video game streams in India is twice the global average.
Over the past year, Loco has rapidly expanded with over six times growth in monthly active users and over ten times growth in monthly active streamers.