The online gaming industry has shown promising growth Globally. In India also, platforms like MPL, Dream11 have got international recognition. Loco, the subsidiary of Pocket Aces, has also established itself as a growing e-sport firm within 12 months of its launch. Recently, it also raised $9 million from Krafton and Lumikai.
Let’s have a look at Loco’s interesting short journey.
Rising Start for Loco
The platform was founded in June 2020 during the covid lockdown. It got instant success due to the national lockdown and its unique features that made online gaming very easy.
Loco has brought a visible change in the live gaming industry of India. It has converted game lovers from e-sports hobby to a mainstream national interest, the company said. The startup has well-known streamers including Sc0ut, Jonathan, Mavi, Thug, Ghatak, Sumit, GTX Preet, Snax, Xyaa, GamingworldVerified, PsychoVerified, Pooja Gaming, Hardcore Gamer, and me2Gaming on its live platform.
Not only that, but Loco has also built strong online communities for online game lovers. FreeFire, Call of Duty Mobile, Clash of Clans, Grand Theft Auto (GTA), and Valorant etc are some of the most popular live-streaming communities with strong engagement from the participants.
Now, Loco is targeting global partners to integrate on its platform. Currently, it has collaborated with global players including the NBA, Logitech, and Red Bull. And as per the tie-up, these giants will run Indian-centric online gaming programs on their platforms.
Talking about the recent esports development, Pandita said:
“During 2019, Indian gaming had a fundamental inflection point. Fueled by high penetration of cheap mobile internet and affordable smartphones, Indian consumers took to gaming in ways they had not done earlier.”
He further added:
“Pre-2019, hypercasual games dominated the charts but post-2019 mobile arcade games like Battlegrounds IP and Freefire came into their own. Over 100 million users were actively playing these games monthly. The demand for gaming content started to climb but no platform brought streamers and viewers together. The Indian gaming community was clamoring for something homegrown and we released Loco as an answer to that.”
What are the plans for Loco? Answering this question, Pandita said:
“Our aim, in the long run, is to democratize gaming entertainment. We feel that gaming creates a level playing field unlike any other sport or entertainment medium has done earlier. Today a young boy or girl sitting in a small Indian town can become a national or a global sensation on the back of their skill (be it gaming or entertainment skills) and this is something that motivates us.”
He further added:
“We want to ensure that we bring forth the best of local talent and provide them with the tools and platforms to find audiences and create businesses. This is the beginning of a new creator economy in India.”
Loco Raises $9 Million to Expand its Operations Further
Loco has announced that it has raised $9 million in a seed funding round led by Krafton, and Lumikai, India’s first gaming and interactive media fund.
The startup will utilize the current funding to expand its operations in the esports and the living gaming industry in India. Loco has a long-term target to develop gaming content live streaming technology that will be popular globally.
Investors included Hashed, Hiro Capital, North Base Media, Axilor Ventures, and 3one4 Capital also contributed in the latest funding round.
Loco also has a plan to detach itself from Pocket Aces, the parent firm of startup and the largest digital entertainment firm in India. Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh, the co-founders of Pocket Aces, will focus on the Loco operations, whereas cofounder Aditi Shrivastava will take care of the Pocket Aces development.
Talking about his entrepreneur journey and Loco, Anirudha Pandita said to GamesBeat:
“This is the second venture I am embarking upon after Pocket Aces, which is India’s largest digital entertainment startup.”
He further added:
“As part of the Pocket Aces journey, in 2017, we had an insight that two large inflection points were emerging in the entertainment journey of consumers — short video and interactive entertainment. We already run the largest socially distributed short video network in the country via Pocket Aces brands like FilterCopy and Dice Media, where we reach 50 million Indians weekly. On the other hand, interactive entertainment, we felt, was a complete white space in India.”
The Mumbai-based startup has grown exponentially in the last year. It saw a six-fold surge in monthly active viewers and a 10 times increment in the monthly active streamers, as per Loco claims. Live watch hours have also grown to 48 times more since its inception in 2020.