"I have always been a passionate gamer myself"
Actress Kajal Aggarwal, an as far unknown player in the Indian gaming industry has reportedly invested an undisclosed amount in Mumbai-based Okie Gaming.
She picked up a 15% stake in the company and has become a strategic partner.
Kajal Aggarwal is known for her roles in Bollywood films Singham and Special 26.
She made her debut in 2004 Hindi film Kyun! Ho Gaya Na… Her first Telugu film, Lakshmi Kalyanam, was released in 2007.
Kajal told PTI:
“The gaming industry is booming and this is the right time to be part of it.
“I have always been a passionate gamer myself, and I hope to influence and open new avenues for women gamers in India.”
Okie Gaming is a real-money gaming platform that will include games like Smart Housie, Fantasy Cricket, Smart Number Quiz, Ludo, Cricket, Rummy, and Smart Words.
Currently available on the web, the company will soon make the Okie Gaming app available for download on Google and iOS app stores by mid-December 2020.
The actress took to Twitter to announce the news.
And here’s another big announcement , super duper excited about this one ????? https://t.co/LOmLtQrNBe
— Kajal Aggarwal (@MsKajalAggarwal) November 9, 2020
The company will use Kajal Aggarwal’s funds to increase the number of games on the platform and onboard talent as it aims to clock Rs. 50 crore (£5 million) in revenue by the end of the fiscal year.
It will also offer ‘Desi Sports League’ that will focus on popular regional sports like Vallam Kali (Boat Racing, Kerala) and Dahi Handi (Maharashtra).
Jitin Masand, CEO of Okie Ventures (parent company of Okie Gaming), said Kajal Aggarwal’s personal interest in the gaming industry, wide reach, and appeal will help the brand scale up to a much higher level.
“She’s an involved investor who brings a unique set of ideas and insights to Okie Gaming.”
He added that the company currently has five games on the platform and aims to introduce a new game every month.
The company aims also aims to ramp up its headcount from 40 to over 120 in the next six months.
Masand added that by the end of March 2021, the company is targeting five million app downloads.
The company has already invested Rs 5 crore (£507,000) on the platform and intends to pump in a similar amount by February 2021 as it expands its game library.
According to a report by Maple Capital Advisors, India’s gaming industry has attracted about $350 million in investments from venture capital firms between 2014 and first few months of 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 22%.
The Indian gaming industry is currently valued at $930 million and is expected to grow at 41% annually, it had said.
It added that by 2024, the gaming industry in India is set to be valued at $3.75 billion.