Lumikai Fund and Fireside Ventures Lead Giga Fun Studios' $2.4 Mn Seed Round to Build Next-generation Casual Games for Indian Gamers
Giga Fun Studios Team — (L-R) Rahul Shekhar, Rahul Daga, and Krishnendu Mukherjee

Bengaluru-based casual gaming startup Giga Fun Studios today announced that they have raised $2.4 Mn in Seed round led by Lumikai, India’s pioneering Gaming & Interactive Media focused VC Fund and the consumer specialists Fireside Ventures. All In Capital, Kettleborough VC and Riverwalk Holdings also participated in this round.

The company will utilise the funds to create a new benchmark in casual games built to high quality for Indian and global audiences. The founders have extensive experience building leading casual games for India and the world previously at leading developers like Zynga and m56, and will be investing heavily on curating a stellar team as a hub for “best in India” casual game developers.

They aim to focus on designing games with geo accessibility across the full game stack, including simple but compelling game loops, customised UI/UX design for domestic gamers, accessible pricing, and distribution via third party app stores. Their longer-term goal is to export the richness of Indian culture globally through casual metas, creating the King of India.

The startup is founded by a trio of seasoned game designers and developers: Krishnendu Mukherjee (Former AVP and Head of Game Design at MPL, former Lead Product Manager at Zynga), Rahul Daga (Former Director of Products Zynga, Country Head at m56 Studios), and Rahul Shekhar (Former Engineering lead at m56 Studios). The founders have collectively shipped and operated 10+ games with experience managing gaming P&L’s of $100M+.

Expressing his views on the announcement, Krishnendu Mukherjee, Co-founder & CEO, at Giga Fun Studios said, “We have been brainstorming the idea of creating a Gaming studio that caters to the Indian audience and the core problem we mutually identified was that while current dominant casual games (such as Candy Crush) are very high in quality, they haven't been able to fully unlock an Indian player base due to a lack of cultural resonance. This is additionally visible in the lack of monetization participation of the Indian player. With over 5 Bn downloads, India is one of the largest download markets for casual games. Our belief is that with the right themes and geo-specific mechanics, we will be able to crack adoption and monetization for casual games in India.”

Commenting on the investment, Justin Shriram Keeling, Founding General Partner, Lumikai said, “According to our recently released India State of Gaming 2022 report, 80% of gamers show a high proclivity to play games based on Indian IP. We believe that culture-themed casual games have the potential to unlock massive disruption in the gaming space in India. We’re excited to be partnering with Giga Fun Studios at an early stage, and look forward to supporting them with our deep gaming expertise & network on their mission to build a match3 engine that'll allow them to build high-quality games, built specifically with geo-specific mechanics, localised game loops, unique distribution and India first monetisation."

Commenting on the investment, Shreyans Gangwal, Vice President, Fireside Ventures said, “We at Fireside Ventures are excited to announce our very first investment in the gaming sector and partnering with the gaming expertise Rahul S, Krishnendu & Rahul D and bringing our expertise of consumer brands & marketing to create a class-leading casual gaming platform from India. Globally, gaming has already eclipsed movies & music by ~3x and is one of the largest and fastest emerging sectors of digital consumption. This will serve the unmet needs of Indian consumers to drive a multi-billion dollar market opportunity over the next few years. High quality, deeply localized games built on proven game formats with the right in-app purchase driven monetization are likely to be the first beneficiaries in the wave of gaming which is expected to be a $8.5bn+ market opportunity in India“. 

About Giga Fun Studios:

Giga Fun Studios is India’s newest casual gaming studio. Casual games are one of the most popular game genres all over the world and in India. The studio aims to disrupt the category, by creating engaging, high quality games that are culturally relevant for the Indian player base. The goal of the studio is to develop world class games for Indian and global audiences. The founders bring 25+ years of combined experience in building and running games as well as building high performance game development teams.

About Lumikai:

Lumikai is India’s first dedicated games and interactive media VC. The fund is building a next-generation tribe of India’s most forward-thinking, creative, and talented founders. The leadership team combines decades of strategic experience and sector knowledge while leveraging all-star local and global networks to help propel founders to success.

Lumikai has already backed some of India’s leading games companies including Bombay Play (building global hypersocial, cross-platform games), Loco (India’s leading game streaming platform), and Elo Elo (creator-led, social gaming, live streaming platform) amongst others. Lumikai is the lighthouse VC fund catalysing India’s “ripe for disruption” gaming & interactive media industries.

About Fireside Ventures:

Launched in 2017, Fireside Ventures with the close of its Fund III is currently managing INR 3,000 crore ($395 million) of AUM with investments across digital-first consumer brands in sectors such as health & wellness, food and beverages, beauty & personal care, nutraceuticals, lifestyle and home products, etc. The Fund invests in young start-ups and supports them through their evolution by providing expertise and access to their network.

Fireside Ventures is helmed by Kanwaljit Singh – Founder & Managing Partner, Vinay Singh - Partner, Kannan Sitaram - Partner, and Dipanjan Basu - Partner. The leadership team is also supported by an thirteen-member strong and multi-dimensional investment team.

Since its inception Fireside has invested in 30+ brands that include Supertails, NatHabit, The Baker’s Dozen, Smytten, Traya, The Sleep Company, 10Club, Wellbeing Nutrition, Pilgrim, Fitterfly, Slurrp Farm, FS Life (erstwhile FableStreet), SARVA Yoga, Gynoveda, boAt, Mamaearth, Vahdam Teas, Yoga Bar, Samosa Singh, SLAY Coffee, Design Café, The Ayurveda Experience, Kapiva Ayurveda, AnKaSumMor, Ninety One Cycles (erstwhile Frog Cycles), Bombay Shaving Company, Magic Crate, Pipa Bella, Azani, BluSpider (erstwhile Bog Orchid), Tasty Tales, and Kwik 24.


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