Walmart-owned e-commerce major Flipkart said Tuesday it has acquired gaming startup Mech Mocha for an undisclosed amount as the e-tailer looks to gain and retain users by offering casual games to its app users.
As part of the acquisition, Flipkart will own Mech Mocha’s intellectual property rights and will absorb its team.
Six-year-old Mech Mocha operates a gaming platform Hello Play that allows its users to live chat with other players in their local language while playing games. Flipkart will take over all the 10 casual games developed by Mech Mocha.
Co-founded by Arpita Kapoor and Mohit Rangaraju, Mech Mocha is backed by top-tier investors including Accel Partners, Blume Ventures, Shunwei Capital, and AET Fund. Flipkart also participated in Mech Mocha’s seed round with USD 1 million in 2015. The company has raised a total of USD 6 million.
“With Vocal for Local being the focus for digital apps across the nation, this strategic backing of Flipkart provides us an opportunity to be part of a larger ecosystem that helps us create unique social gaming experiences for Indian users,” Arpita Kapoor, co-founder, Mech Mocha, said in a statement.
With this acquisition, Flipkart aims to bolster its ‘GameZone’ that aims to engage new users through casual games on its app. Kapoor said Mech Mocha will focus on scaling Flipkart’s gaming efforts.
Casual gaming in India saw a spike during the lockdown as people had more time on their hands. According to App Annie, the average Indian user increased the number of mobile games they played each month by 35% during the peak month of H1 2020, compared to the average of 2019.
Flipkart is looking to capitalize on this trend hoping gamers would eventually start shopping on its platform. In addition to gaming, Flipkart has also invested heavily in creating original video content called Flipkart Originals. It has also partnered with local news channels and OTT players such as Voot and Hungama Play to curate their content on its app.
“At Flipkart, we are focused on providing consumers with an opportunity to access great products and content while giving them an engaging experience,” Prakash Sikaria, Vice-President, Flipkart, said in a statement.
Sikaria claimed many first-time e-commerce users come online through formats such as videos and games, as they build familiarity with the medium. “Our observations of Flipkart GameZone, reflect this trend as we see a strong correlation between casual gamers becoming early shoppers on Flipkart for their digital journey.”