Sachin-backed Smaaash targeting $30 mn US investment: Report

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Sachin Tendulkar-backed Smaaash Entertainment is eyeing to generate $25-30 million (₹ 175-200 crore) from US investments. The gaming and entertainment company is targeting the funds for its expansion plans.

“We have decided to invest aggressively in India and follow an asset-light model in overseas markets. For expansion in India, I am currently talking to investors in the US and looking to close a funding of $25-30 million soon,” Economic Times has reported the Smaaash Entertainment chief imagination officer Shripal Morakhia as saying.

“Currently I have 35% stake and I don’t want to dilute in India as the investors don’t take into account the value of IP (intellectual property). We have been selling our proprietary VR and simulator games internationally, which have been installed in 30 plus countries until now,” Morakhia said while adding that he did not want to raise funds in India at this time since the company was undervalued.

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Smaaash Entertainment plans to expand its gaming centres and zones to 60 by the turn of the financial year. It presently owns 36. The company also owns a centre in the Mall of America, Minneapolis. It is also eyeing global expansion through partnerships. It is targeting to form alliances for 12 centres in the USA, besides expanding its business in Saudi Arabia and West Asia.

“In the US, we want to create two types of models – cricket related centres in eight cities targeting Indian diaspora, one model centre and the rest franchises,” Morakhia has said.

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Smaaash Entertainment has also entered into a partnership with Insportz Club, Dubai’s premier indoor cricket and multi-sports facility. As part of the association, the company will add its games to the current facility.

“We will be converting Insportz into an aspirational gaming centre. We have also partnered with a local businessman in Saudi Arabia to launch an 80,000 square feet Smaaash centre. We see a huge potential in Saudi Arabia as there is a large population of millennials and a higher disposable income,” Morakhia said.

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