Payments company Paytm has entered into a joint venture with Alibaba Group-owned AGTech Media to set up a gaming company in India. As per AGTech’s regulatory filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, Paytm will have a 55 percent stake in the company with AGTech owning the remaining 45 percent.
Together AGTech and Paytm will invest $16 million (around Rs. 103 crores) in the venture. This new company will offer mobile games to Indian consumers with AGTech creating content and Paytm providing distribution. User engagement activities are also part of the feature offering.
“This will help Paytm drive deeper consumer engagement as customers can now earn exclusive rewards and discounts on the platform,” AGTech said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday. This venture is AGTech’s first significant strategic international expansion.
“The Group believes that international markets represent an untapped and enormous opportunity, and this joint venture is a significant breakthrough which lays the foundation for further international expansion in the future. As the leading mobile payment platform in India, Paytm is the ideal local partner for this key collaboration,” the filing said.
This isn’t Paytm’s first stab at gaming in India. In the past it has tried its hand at publishing smartphone games but India developers weren’t impressed with the revenue split offered at the time and it did not take off as planned. Furthermore, AGTech’s specialty appears to be in gambling and lottery games rather than well, actual video games. By the company’s own admission, it only has all of only two proper games available on Alibaba’s own Taobao platform.
Nonetheless, with investment in gaming in India drying up and consumer monetisation via app stores not meeting projections, forcing some to consider e-sports as a revenue stream, it will be interesting to see how this pans out.