Loco has raised $9 million in seed funding to enable esports and live game streaming in India. The raised seed funding will strengthen the Mumbai-based company’s efforts to produce game content by developing its game streaming technology.
Funders include South Korean gaming firm Krafton and India’s first gaming and interactive media fund, Lumika, as well as Hashed, Hiro Capital, North Base Media, Axilor Ventures, and 3one4 Capital.
These investments in Loco will drive Loco’s transformation from Pocket Aces into an independent entity. Pocket Aces founders Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh will lead the progress of Loco, while co-founder Aditi Shrivastava will continue to lead Pocket Aces.
The company says Loco is a pioneer in the gaming live streaming and esports industry in India, paving the way for gaming to move from a niche hobby to mainstream national interest. The “Made in India” platform is home to India’s most popular streamers such as Sc0ut, Jonathan, Blue, Thug, Ghatak, Sumit, GTX Preet, Snax, Xyaa, GamingworldVerified, PsychoVerified, Pooja Gaming, HardCore Gamer, and me2Gaming.
Pocket Aces founder Anirudh Pandita made the following comments on the subject:
“Indian games throughout 2019 had a fundamental inflection point. Fueled by the high penetration of cheap mobile internet and affordable smartphones, Indian consumers are playing games in ways they haven’t done before. Pre-2019 hyper-casual games dominated the charts, but post-2019 mobile arcade games like Battlegrounds IP and Freefire took the leap and made a difference. More than 100 million users were actively playing these games on a monthly basis. Demand for game content began to rise, but there was no platform to bring together streamers and viewers. The Indian gaming community was clamoring for something local and we launched Loco as a response.
Our long-term goal is to democratize gaming fun. We think that playing games creates an even playing field that no sport or entertainment tool has done before. Today a young boy or girl living in a small Indian town can become a national or global sensation thanks to their skills (game or entertainment skills) and that is something that really motivates us. We want to make sure we bring out the best in local talent and provide them with the tools and platforms to find audiences and create businesses. This is the beginning of a new creative economy in India.”