E-commerce giant Flipkart announced on Monday its acquisition of Intellectual Property from Mech Mocha, a mobile gaming startup in India. Mech Mocha runs India’s first live-social gaming platform called ‘Hello Play’. Along with the IP, the gaming team of Mech Mocha will be joining Flipkart to continue developing new and innovative ideas for user engagement while contributing to the platform. Either of the companies did not reveal the financial details of the acquisition.
Co-founded by Arpita Kapoor and Mohit Rangaraju, the gaming startup has seen a pool of top-tier company investments in its funding rounds. Flipkart, alongside Blume Ventures, were seed investors in Mech Mocha in 2015. The startup has previously raised $5 million in Series A round with backing of Accel Partners and China’s Shunwei Capital. It was also in the talks of raising $10 million in Series B round.
Expressing her gratitude, Arpita Kapoor, CEO of the startup, took to Twitter to thank her team in the journey of growth of Mech Mocha.
From having @Flipkart as our seed investor along with Blume to now joining hands to build entertainment at scale for India – it's been a quite a full circle. Feeling immense gratitude towards all @MechMocha team members, investors, advisors and partners. https://t.co/77bhfReGKN
— Arpita Kapoor (@Arpita_Kapoor) November 3, 2020
Social-mobile gaming has seen a surge in users during the pandemic. The Indian gaming industry is estimated to be at a size of Rs 6,200 crore. Over 85 per cent of the people logging into games using their mobile devices. Social distancing and lockdown have resulted in friends and families to switch to online gaming platforms and apps which can boost enjoyment through simplistic and traditional mobile games like Chess, Ludo etc.
Hello Play currently has more than 5 million downloads on Google Play Store. The platform is available for use in 7 different local languages and has over 10+ exciting games including Indian multiplayer games like Ludo, Snake & Ladder, Carrom and Cricket. The gaming platform has targeted new users online in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The app contains attractive features like in-game voice and video chats to establish an efficient gaming model for Indian households. Since the rise of anti-China sentiments, the Indian gaming market has been tapping into the Make in India schemes for their platforms.
“With Vocal for Local being the focus for digital apps across the nation, this strategic backing of Flipkart provides us an opportunity to be part of a larger ecosystem that helps us create unique social gaming experiences for Indian users. We look forward to being a part of the Flipkart ecosystem and leveraging the Flipkart Cloud Platform, Super Coins, Reward store and Flipkart Ads platform to strengthen the platform for our users,” said Kapoor in the official press release.
Flipkart is all set to strengthen its gaming strategies with the acquisition. Mech Mocha will be contributing to Flipkart’s own GameZone platform. The startup gaming team’s integration with Flipkart’s gaming efforts will be overseen by Vice President of Flipkart, Prakash Sikaria.
“At Flipkart, we are focused on providing consumers with an opportunity to access great products and content while giving them an engaging experience. We see many first-time e-commerce users come online through formats such as video and games, as they build familiarity with the medium. Our observations of Flipkart GameZone, reflect this trend as we see a strong correlation between casual gamers becoming early shoppers on Flipkart for their digital journey. Through this transaction, we will strengthen our capabilities in the gaming domain with access to Mech Mocha’s IP, games and talented team that will help us accelerate our efforts in this space,” Sikaria commented on the acquisition.
Flipkart has expanded its reach in multiple market segments previously. It has acquired digital payments services like PhonePe, online fashion retailers like Myntra and another e-commerce platform eBay. This is a first-time acquisition of the Walmart-owned company in the gaming segment in India.
Flipkart has also made strategic investments in the past few years. Last month, it made a Rs 1,500 crore investment in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail for a partnership. Moreover, it has been seen making a fresh round of investments in India’s tech-driven supply chain platform, NinjaCart, which helps farmers connect to kiranas and businesses through technology.