Nazara Technologies’ subsidiary, Nodwin Gaming, recently raised USD 28 million in a funding round, attracting two new investors to bring the total number of investors to five. Alongside existing investors Nazara, Krafton Inc., and JetSynthesys, as per The National Stock Exchange of India listing, Sony Group Corporation and InnoPark (India) Private Limited have joined as new investors.
In a recent interview, Nodwin Gaming co-founder and managing director Akshat Rathee shed light on the company’s strategic investments and impressive revenue growth. Nodwin, an esports and gaming company, has witnessed a remarkable 68 per cent growth in revenue over the past two years. Despite market challenges and setbacks, Nodwin has managed to thrive by leveraging its diverse business divisions and establishing strategic partnerships with prominent investors. This article explores Rathee’s perspective on Nodwin’s growth, the significance of its strategic investments, and the company’s plans for future expansion.
A Diverse and Resilient Business Model
Rathee emphasises that Nodwin’s success stems from its ability to build a resilient business model. By integrating various verticals that complement and support each other, Nodwin has created a network effect. For instance, despite popular games like PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, and BGMI being banned in the country, Nodwin’s revenue continued to grow steadily. Rathee attributes this success to the company’s adaptability and its diverse lines of business, including esports, entertainment, music, and merchandising divisions.
Maintaining a robust presence in international markets allows Nodwin to offset specific risks in India and ensure long-term stability. Rathee explains, “We maintain different lines of businesses… and all of those divisions work with each other but are independently strong by themselves. We are basically building a house with many more pillars at the bottom. So if there are any shakes or something that causes one pillar to actually stop performing, the others can take the load. Most of the time what happens is you build yourself on one or two pillars and if one falls, then you are in trouble.”
Strategic Investments and Partnerships
Talking about the recent investments from prominent companies like Sony and InnoPark, Rathee shared that these strategic investments align with Nodwin’s vision and bolster the company’s growth trajectory. Rathee highlighted the importance of partnering with investors who share the same vision and have a deep understanding of the gaming and esports industry. Sony, in particular, stands out as a significant partner, given its extensive range of products and expertise in gaming, music, and entertainment. Rathee emphasised that the synergies between Nodwin and Sony present tremendous opportunities for collaboration and growth. He commented, “Sony and our ambition matches. We have so many similarities in the things we do. The synergy with the largest Japanese conglomerate will hopefully result in a great combined effect.”
Patient Capital and Emergent Markets
Rathee stresses the significance of patient capital in the gaming and esports industry, focusing on securing strategic investors who align with Nodwin’s long-term vision, rather than seeking quick returns. He believes that emerging markets, with their young populations, offer tremendous growth potential for gaming and esports. Adding about the regions Nodwin wishes to explore, he said, “We would like to explore markets in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East but we are not sure yet.”
Future Expansion and Acquisitions
Regarding Nodwin’s future plans, Rathee expressed the company’s openness to expanding its intellectual property (IP) portfolio and pursuing strategic acquisitions. Nodwin seeks to collaborate with entertainment companies that share similar values and have a track record of success. The company’s expansion strategy focuses on identifying potential IPs and companies worldwide, irrespective of location. Rathee emphasised that Nodwin’s goal is not simply to acquire for the sake of it but to strategically fill gaps in their existing framework. By adding complementary elements to their ecosystem, Nodwin aims to accelerate growth and enhance its overall offering.
Discussing the emerging space of artificial intelligence, Rathee opined, “I love AI. I think we use AI these days to do fancy things but we can build workflows out of AI in the future and I’m looking forward to that. We should use AI to figure out faster whether or not people are cheating.”
Lastly, while deliberating about the Indian gaming market situation and sentiments, Rathee commented, “I think there were a lot of people who were thinking that gaming is dying but that’s not true now. We are looking at a phenomenal consolidation phase of gaming and esports across the globe where things will become better for clients and customers.”
Currently, Nodwin Gaming has several projects in development and with the recent fundraise Nodwin is well-positioned for continued success in the dynamic gaming and esports industry.