Loco on Thursday announced it has raised $42 million in a funding round led by South Korea’s early-stage venture fund Hashed and Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, as the game-streaming platform looks to ride a frenzy fuelled by a pandemic that left people holed up in homes with their mobile phones for company.
South Korean video game developer Krafton, Korea Investment Partners, Lumikai, and Hiro Capital also participated in the financing round, Loco said in a statement. Reports say that following this fundraise, the Bengaluru-headquartered live game-streaming company’s valuation has increased to $200 million.
“This investment will help scale our technology efforts across game streaming and Web3,” Loco said in a statement on its official social media pages. "We have been the largest investors in gaming content in India and we are committed to the development of the Indian gaming community and creator ecosystem at large."
Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh co-founded Loco in 2020, the year when the covid-19 pandemic prompted governments around the world to impose lockdowns to curb the viral spread. Restrictions in India were easily the harshest in the world, leaving socially-isolated individuals grappling with ennui.
Confined within their homes, people turned to gaming on their hand-held devices for entertainment. Loco claims that since June 2020, its monthly active viewers have grown six-fold, monthly active streamers, which include the very popular Sc0ut, Mavi, Godlike’s Jonathan and Ankkita, have grown ten times, and live watch hours have increased 48 times. Loco’s highly active users currently spend about an hour daily on its platform.
Game-streaming companies see a huge growth potential in India, buoyed by affordable high-speed internet data, a young demography, and a deepening penetration of smartphones in a country of 1.4 billion.