Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran invests in game streaming platform Loco

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Game streaming startup Loco today said it has raised $42 million as it looks to bring in new features to its streaming app. The company initially started as a quiz app in 2018 and transformed into a live game streaming app dubbed as “Twitch for India.” The startup helmed by Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, who previously co-founded content platform Pocket Aces has raised about $51 million to date according to Tech Crunch. Pocket Aces acquired Loco in 2018.

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The investors in this round include Hashed, Makers Fund, Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, Krafton, Lumikai, Korea Investment Partners and Hiro Capital invested in the startup’s Series A financing, which gives Loco a pre-money valuation of about $145 million, according to two sources familiar with the matter as per Tech Crunch.

Loco on its website says since June 2020, monthly active viewers have grown 6x, monthly active streamers have grown 10x, and live watch hours have increased 48x with highly active users spending 1 hour daily on the app, making it the go-to choice for the Indian gaming community.

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Loco has partnered with leading game publishers like PUBG Corporation, Activision-Blizzard, Riot Games for licensing, securing what an investor described as “first mover advantage.” On its app, users watch and interact with streamers and support streamers with virtual goods.

According to a report Tech Crunch, Loco has around 5.3 million monthly active users, 450,000 of whom use the service each day and about 45,000 gamers stream on the app.

Loco is the leader in game streaming in India and has the country’s most engaged community of gamers on its platform,” said Ethan Kim, cofounder and Partner at Hashed, in a media statement.

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India has 400 million gamers currently,” said Anirudh Pandita, co-founder of Loco was quoted by Live Mint. “Younger Indians are spending a significant amount of time in the virtual world, and gaming is breaking urban and rural boundaries.

Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, Loco’s other cofounders, met as engineering undergraduates at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and went on to work on Wall Street before starting Pocket Aces Private, a digital studio creating streaming content to provide an alternative to traditional television entertainment, along with a third founder Aditi Shrivastava.