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OneVerse acquires Spartan Poker, pledges $120 million for Indian gaming sector expansion

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To boost its presence in the Indian gaming industry, Metaverse and gaming tech company OneVerse have acquired online poker start-up Spartan Poker and allocated $120 million (approximately Rs 1000 crore) for mergers and acquisitions within the real-money gaming (RMG) sector in India, reported the Economic Times.

Backed by family offices and its founder’s capital, OneVerse plans to invest in M&A activities involving nearly 13 RMG companies across poker, rummy, and fantasy gaming over the next three months.

Spartan Poker marks the first acquisition under this initiative, with OneVerse finalizing the deal for an undisclosed sum. Known for hosting poker tournaments with prize pools exceeding Rs 500 crore annually, Spartan Poker adds substantial value to OneVerse’s gaming portfolio.

Paul Michael, CEO of OneVerse Gaming, highlighted the drive in M&A opportunities spurred by recent macroeconomic headwinds. The company aims to close additional acquisitions in the coming months while aiming to expand into European and American markets. The focus of this significant M&A investment is to create a scalable operation capable of surviving long-term challenges while prioritizing player retention strategies and generating significant value for gaming enthusiasts, said Michael.

The gaming industry has seen a 15% reduction in users due to the impact of increased taxation. To navigate these challenges effectively, OneVerse has enlisted the expertise of Rand Merchant Bank, a renowned global corporate and investment bank, for advisory support. India approximately has 568 million online gamers, with nearly a quarter engaged in pay-and-play activities. The RMG segment was estimated to be a $2 billion industry in FY23.

Recent changes in taxation policy, particularly the GST hike to 28%, have resulted in the RMG business model being unsustainable for many start-ups and mid-sized companies.

By merging the capabilities of both entities, OneVerse aims to imitate a leading force that will shape the future of interactive entertainment. This collaboration leverages OneVerse’s technological expertise alongside Spartan’s creative expertise, promising an innovative range of products and experiences for gamers globally. Gamers can expect an expanded catalogue of cutting-edge games that seamlessly blend immersive experiences with state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, with an expanded global presence, OneVerse is set to explore new markets and engage with diverse gaming communities worldwide.

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