Play It Interactive, an India-focused mobile-gaming platform maker from Canada, has raised $1.1 million in funding and is seeking talks with Indian media firms to expand its gaming offerings, company executives said.
The Calgary-based 1-year-old startup aims to “become a meaningful proposition for big media companies in India,” chief executive Cory Cleveland said in a phone interview from Mumbai.
Cleveland and head of development Ray Newal were in Mumbai interviewing potential recruits to build an India leadership and product development team.
Play It offers mobile platforms that allow people to enjoy video games, online casino games and other entertainment events in an interactive manner on basic feature phones at very cheap rates. An hour a day, for a month, could cost under 100 Mb of data, said Newal, who sold an earlier video-streaming startup Jigsee last year, before which he headed content and business development at Yahoo! Canada.
A fantasy football app that the company released around the FIFA World Cup football tournament in July attracted close to 647,000 unique visitors, Cleveland said in an earlier interview with www.betakit.com. Nearly 500,000 of those were from India, while there were also some users from markets such as Nigeria, Newal said on Friday.
The app allows people to pretend they are general managers of professional football (soccer) teams, so they can add or drop players, and make various strategic decisions in competition with other fantasy general managers. The company also offers a fantasy cricket app and "Teen Patti," meaning three cards in Hindi language, for an Indian-style poker.
With its apps and platforms built from the ground up to be very light, Play It hopes to tap India’s hundreds of millions of feature phone users as a potential market: Cory and Newal see their platforms delivering interactivity well “beyond live sports ... to any type of event or subject matter that people are really passionate about.”
Play It is looking to enter into dialogues with several big media companies in India and “we are close to signing one partnership,” Newal said, without giving details.