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Gaming company Nazara acquires 55% stake in Datawrkz for ₹124 crore

Gaming and sports media company Nazara Technologies said on Tuesday that it would acquire a 55 per cent stake in programmatic advertising and monetisation company Datawrkz, for about ₹124 crore.

A filing by the company said that the transaction valued the Bengaluru-based company at ₹225 crore (approximately $30 million), linked to CY 22 EBITDA performance.

“The Board has approved the strategic investment by the acquisition of 37,498 equity shares – representing 55 per cent of the equity share capital, on a fully diluted basis, of Datawrkz Business Solutions Private Limited, along with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, at a total consideration not exceeding ₹124 crores in two tranches,” the filing said. “The shares will be bought from existing shareholders Senthil Govindan, Karthigha Dhanabalan, K Arunprabu, Mayank Khirwadkar and Vishal Tukaranm Garale,” it added.

In the first tranche, Nazara would acquire a 33 per cent share for ₹60 crore during the first quarter of FY2022-23 and it reserves an option to acquire an additional 22 per cent share in the second tranche, that is expected to close in the fourth quarter of FY2022-23.

In a statement, Nazara said that, of the ₹60 crore payable, ₹35 crore are partly payable in cash and the balance consideration of ₹25 crore will be paid either in cash or swap of shares in the first tranche by April 2022.

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Datawrkz tech offerings will enhance the in-house capabilities of Nazara for optimising its customer acquisition spends as well as enhance yields on ad monetisation of its large consumer base. This ad revenue monetisation is expected to assist many of the companies in the Friends of Nazara network.

With this transaction, Datawrkz also aims to establish itself as a key player in gaming, covering both demand and supply side offerings for the gaming ecosystem in the US and India.

Founded in 2013 by Senthil Govindan, Datawrkz is a global advertising technology firm focused on accelerating user and revenue growth for clients through highly optimised digital advertising.

With offices in the US, Singapore, and India, the firm functions as an Independent Trading Desk to power digital media strategy, planning and execution.

For the calendar year 2021, Datawrkz posted combined revenue of ₹90.7 crore (approximately $12.1 million).

“We, at Nazara, are looking to build strong gaming ad tech offerings globally with the partnership with Datawrkz. We strongly believe that growth of gaming-focused ad tech will be exponential in the coming decade across geographies with the growth of gamers and game publishers across freemium, Web 3.0 and skill-based real money gaming,” Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal said.

Agarwal added that ad tech companies with deep data processing capabilities and first-party data ownership will emerge as winners in gaming-focused ad tech and will help Datawrkz to create value for itself as well as for Nazara shareholders.

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Over the past few years, Nazara has acquired multiple companies and strengthened its position in esports, interactive gaming and gamified early learning space with its Friends of Nazara network.

Nazara has acquired a majority stake in Nodwin Gaming (57.05 per cent); Next Wave Multimedia (52.38 per cent), which operates mobile-based cricket simulation game World Cricket Championship (WCC), Absolute Sports that operates Sportskeeda (63.90 per cent), gamified early learning subscription app Paper Boat Apps (50.91 per cent) and skill gaming platform OpenPlay (100 per cent).

(With inputs from Agencies)

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