Sequoia Capital has invested $15 million in Series A funding in Indian mobile multiplayer gaming company Octro, which makes digital versions of popular local classics, such as card game Indian Rummy or the bingo-style Tambola.
Octro’s apparently winning formula for gaming is not to invent new IPs but to capitalize on the popularity of traditional offline multiplayer games in its local market and expand their reach to smartphones, which continue to be a fast-growing device category in the country.
Anyone who’s witnessed the enduring popularity of Patience on desktop PCs, tablets and smartphones will attest to a strategy of digitally leveraging tried and testing gaming formulas — rather than trying the hit and miss option of building something entirely new.
Octro was founded in 2006, and initially focused on productivity apps, building a mobile VoIP app called OctroTalk, before shifting focus to mobilizing locally popular games. Its other titles include Teen Patti, Sweep Card Game and Multiplayer Hearts. Octro’s titles are among the top 5 games in multiple categories on Google Play in India.
Commenting on the funding round in a statement, Mohit Bhatnagar, MD at Sequoia Capita, said: “Indian games like Tambola, Teen Patti and Rummy have been a part of people’s lives for years. Octro has made these culturally relevant games come to life on the mobile. We look forward to working closely with the team and leveraging our network to help the company scale greater heights.”
In India Sequoia managed funds of close to $2 billion, investing across venture, growth, and late stage opportunities.