India is growing fast as a modern entertainment market. That has enabled Games2win to raise $6 million in a second round of funding for its casual online game business.
Since being founded in 2007, the Mumbai-based company has built a library of 400 lightweight games that are played by an audience of more than 20 million consumers a month. The funding show that game investors — always searching for the next Zynga or FarmVille — are moving into emerging territories as gaming spreads across the globe.
The games are simple cartoon style Flash games with titles such as Baby’s Day Out, Pretty Penny, and Funny Classroom 3.
The company was started by serial entrepreneurs Alok Kejriwal (pictured below) and Mahesh Khambadkone. They’ve got more than 70 employees cranking out games for the company’s portal. And the games have also been licensed by web publishers such as Yahoo.com, Viacom Kids and the Discovery Channel. Kejriwal said the company will likely expand to around 120 employees.
Investors include Clearstone Venture Partners and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB India). Kejriwal says that Games2win’s titles are “snacky” games that people play when they’ve got spare moments of time. Games2win plans to use the funding to further expand into online games and target the 400 million teens and tweens (ages 8 to 12) on the web or mobile devices. Lately, Games2win has been releasing its Android and Apple iOS versions at the same time as it debuts is Flash versions on the web.
Rajan Mehra of Clearstone Venture Partners said that Games2win has momentum and opportunity in the Indian market for casual and social games, now hitting its “hyper-growth.” Kejriwal said that there are “oceans of consumers” in emerging markets that are likely to become profitable for game companies over time. Even if those consumers want to play games for free and pirates steal the games to post on their own sites, Games2win has figured out how to monetize them through ads. For instance, the company’s games are embedded with “invisible ads” that can’t be removed by pirates.
Rivals include Addicting Games, Miniclip, Spil Games and others.