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Loco raises $9M for esports and live games streaming in India

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Loco has raised $9 million in seed funding to enable esports and live games streaming in India.

The new investment will fuel the Mumbai company’s efforts in game streaming technology and gaming content, helping it become the home of Indian gaming.

The money comes from South Korean gaming firm Krafton as well as Lumikai, India’s first gaming and interactive media fund. Other investors included Hashed, Hiro Capital, North Base Media, Axilor Ventures, and 3one4 Capital.

With this raise, Loco will be spun off into an independent entity from its parent, Pocket Aces, India’s largest digital entertainment company. Pocket Aces founders Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh will lead Loco going forward, while cofounder Aditi Shrivastava will continue to lead Pocket Aces.

“This is the second venture I am embarking upon after Pocket Aces, which is India’s largest digital entertainment startup,” said Pandita in an email to GamesBeat.

“As part of the Pocket Aces journey, in 2017, we had an insight that two large inflection points were emerging in the entertainment journey of consumers — short video and interactive entertainment. We already run the largest socially distributed short video network in the country via Pocket Aces brands like FilterCopy and Dice Media, where we reach 50 million Indians weekly. On the other hand, interactive entertainment, we felt, was a complete white space in India.”

Loco has grown rapidly over the past 12 months, with monthly active viewers growing sixfold, monthly active streamers scaling by 10 times, and live watch hours scaling by 48 times since June 2020.

Salone Sehgal, General Partner of Lumikai, said in a statement that "67% of India’s millennials are gamers. The Indian esports and streaming industry is expected to grow at a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 3 years, with game streaming watch time in India already two times the global average". She noted that "Anirudh and Ashwin are second-time founders with a proven track record; their combined might and experience in media, content and gaming make them primed to own the space".

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