Nazara Technologies, a diversified gaming and sports media platform backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, today announced it has acquired 100% ownership in Hyderabad-based skill gaming startup OpenPlay for Rs 186.41 crore.

According to regulatory filings data, Nazara’s Board of Directors has approved the acquisition of OpenPlay Technologies from its existing shareholders, Sreeram Reddy Vanga and Unnati Management Consultants LLP, for Rs 186.41 crore in one or more tranches.

The company also said that by the end of Q2 of FY 2021-22, the business will have acquired 23.30% of OpenPlay’s issued and paid-up share capital for a consideration of Rs 43.43 crores in the first tranche of the strategic investment.

During the financial year 2021-22, the remaining tranches will be finished.

Additionally, the nature of the consideration (cash or stock swap) for the second tranche will be chosen by Nazara at its exclusive discretion at the time of closing.

OpenPlay offers a strong tech and product platform for the company to build a network of skill gaming destinations operating on one common platform under the proven leadership of the open play team. Open play with its base of current users brings users and liquidity to attract more players in the network, the filing stated.

The revenue of OpenPlay Technologies was Rs 53.48 crore (based on audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2021). Under the ‘Classic Games’ name, it runs a multi-game consumer gaming platform that features skill-based games.

Speaking on the development, Nazara CEO Manish Agarwal, said: “The OpenPlay acquisition offers an opportunity for Nazara to build a network of skill gaming destinations operating on one common tech platform under the proven leadership of Sreeram and his team at OpenPlay. Sreeram is a successful entrepreneur globally in online real money gaming and we are excited that he will be leading Nazara’s growth in this sector.”

Sreeram Reddy Vanga is the director of OpenPlay. He developed and headed CozyGames in a prior life, and he was also a founding member of PartyGaming, which went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

OpenPlay currently has an annualized gross gaming revenue run rate of Rs 80 crore and is operating on EBIDTA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) positive margins. With its recent launch of influencer-hosted skill gaming tournaments, the company is poised to grow its user base at a rapid pace in the coming quarters.

Sreeram Reddy Vanga said, “I’m excited to join the ‘Friends of Nazara Network’ and look forward to working closely with Nazara leadership and the Network to build India’s largest vernacular social gaming and entertainment platform. Our technology complemented by Nazara’s positioning in the gaming industry in India is the perfect combination for this endeavor.”

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