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BW Businessworld

OpenPlay's Sreeram Vanga On Recent Deal With Nazara

In a recent conversation with BW Businessworld, OpenPlay’s founder Sreeram Vanga shares about the acquisition, the company’s next move, and more

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Indian gaming giant Nazara Technologies recently announced the acquisition of OpenPlay Tech, a Hyderabad-based skill gaming company, with a 100 per cent stake andatotalconsiderationofRs. 186.4Cr.

The company operates a multi-game consumer gaming platform under the ‘Classic Games’ brand which hosts popular skill-based games and operates the highest standards of technology, game fairness, advance player protection, security, AML, and advertising standards. 

TheOpenPlay currently has an annualised gross gaming revenue runrate of INR 80 Cr and is operating on EBITDA positive margins. With its recent launch of influencers-hosted skill gaming tournaments, the company is poised to grow its user base at a rapid pace in the coming quarters.

In a recent conversation with BW Businessworld, OpenPlay’s founder Sreeram Vanga shares about the acquisition, the company’s next move, and more. Excerpts:

Tell us about the acquisition. How exactly it happened? Also, what are the plans after acquisition? Will, you still be an integral part of the leadership or we can witness some reshuffling?

Nazara is a leading diversified gaming and sports media platform in India. We have known Manish and Nitish from Nazara since 2017 and have shared a very good relationship with them. After several discussions, we felt coming together was a great idea to unlock potential from both sides. OpenPlay will be a subsidiary of the Nazara Group. We will continue to function independently and don't see any reshuffling in the near future. In fact, the idea is to double down on our product.

Since a lot of acquisitions are happening of late, how do you see this for the gaming ecosystem?

Consolidation will happen as more and more legal clarity emerges for the industry. The larger players will benefit from the network effect of pooling players across brands.

What do you think will be the reason for the success of OpenPlay? Tell us about the starting point of the company and your own journey.

Our experience and track record in the global gaming industry gives us an edge. We have been part of the gaming industry evolution in the UK and see similar trends emerging in India. Prior to OpenPlay, I was part of the initial team at PartyGaming that went IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. Post that we founded CozyGames and nurtured it into the second-largest Bingo network in the UK. Cozy was acquired by Entain PLC in 2017 which today powers the world's largest bingo network. Our DNA has always been strong technology, positive unit economics, and sustainable scaling.

What new can we observe with the ongoing synergy with Nazara? Also, tell us about the new markets or experiments the company will do post-acquisition?

We will double down on growth and focus more on user acquisitions. We have exciting and ambitious plans to scale with a multi-brand network strategy for India. We have overseas expansion ambitions as well and will announce the strategy closer to the launch date.