The Indian game streaming platform Loco has secured $9 million for the first round of fundraising as an independent company. South Korean gaming firm, Krafton, and Lumikai, India’s first gaming, and interactive media fund, drove most of the funding for the start-up.
Hashed, Hiro Capital, North Base Media, Axilor Ventures, and 3one4 Capital also participated in the seed round. The new financing will fuel the platform’s innovation efforts across game streaming technology and gaming content. Loco will now be a self-sufficient firm spun off from its parent, Pocket Aces, a digital entertainment company.
Loco has also built highly involved communities across various games including, FreeFire, Call of Duty Mobile, Clash of Clans, Grand Theft Auto (GTA), and Valorant. The platform houses India’s top esports teams like TSM, IND, 8-bit/Soul and has hosted the country’s largest tournaments in partnership with global administrators like Activision, Ubisoft, and Riot Games. It is also in the process of building in-game integrations with international partners. In addition to these partnerships, Loco has hauled global giants like the NBA, Logitech, and Red Bull to run India-focused esports programs.
Loco has grown rapidly over the past 12 months, with monthly active viewers scaling by 6x, monthly active streamers scaling by 10x, and live watch hours scaling by 48x since June 2020. Today, the venture claims its highly active users spend ~1 hour daily on Loco.
Loco also claims it offers a slew of interactive features that other VOD-first platforms don’t offer, and the platform’s focus on mobile gaming communities helps it serve those communities in ways that desktop-focused platforms have not been able to do. Loco also helps beginner creators through various initiatives including its one-click mobile streaming app and best-in-class creator program.
Salone Sehgal, General Partner of Lumikai, said “67 percent of India’s millennials are gamers. The Indian esports and streaming industry is expected to grow at a 36 percent CAGR over the next 3 years, with game streaming watch time in India already 2x the global average. Loco is fast emerging as a market maker with an unparalleled reach into the community of Indian streamers. Anirudh and Ashwin are second-time founders with a proven track record; their combined might and experience in media, content, and gaming make them primed to own the space. We are very excited to work alongside them to define the future of Indian gaming.”