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Nazara acquires majority stake in programmatic advertising and monetisation company Datawrkz

Nazara will acquire a 33% stake (Rs 60 crores) in the first tranche by April 22. Nazara reserves an option to acquire an additional 22% in the second tranche that is expected to close in Q4 FY23

Nazara Technologies has announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire a 55% stake in programmatic advertising and monetisation company Datawrkz valuing the company up to Rs 225 crore (approx. USD 30M) linked to CY 22 EBITDA performance.

Nazara will acquire a 33% stake (Rs 60 crores payable of which Rs 35 crores is partly payable in cash and the balance consideration of Rs 25 crores will be paid either in cash or swap of shares) in the first tranche by April 22.  Nazara reserves an option to acquire an additional 22% in the second tranche that is expected to close in Q4 FY23.

Founded in 2013 by Senthil Govindan, IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Datawrkz is a global advertising technology firm focused on accelerating user and revenue growth for clients through optimised digital advertising. With offices in the US, Singapore, and India, the firm functions as an independent trading desk to power digital media strategy, planning and execution. Datawrkz’s self-serve product suite for advertisers - Vizibl, includes a Demand Side Platform as well as a Customer Data Platform.

On the supply side, Datawrkz generates revenue for publishers through AdPrimus, its Supply-Side product set that drives higher user engagement, mediates between demand sources, and enables audience segmentation.

For the calendar year 2021, Datawrkz posted combined revenue of Rs 90.7 crore (approx. USD 12.1M) and an EBIDTA margin of 12% with around 70% of its revenue coming from the US as per CY 2021 unaudited financial statements.

In a press statement, the company said, “Datawrkz tech offerings will enhance the in-house capabilities of Nazara for optimising its customer acquisition spends as well as enhancing yields on ad monetisation of its large consumer base. This ad revenue monetisation is expected to assist many of the companies in the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network.”

The statement further read, “There is an increasingly symbiotic relationship between gaming companies and ad tech companies worldwide as a combination of the two will be value accretive for both businesses. With this transaction, Datawrkz aims to establish itself as a key player in gaming, covering both demand and supply side offerings for the gaming ecosystem in the US and India.”

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies, said, “We, at Nazara, are looking to build strong gaming ad tech offerings globally with the partnership with Datawrkz. We strongly believe that growth of gaming-focused ad tech will be exponential in the coming decade across geographies with the growth of gamers and game publishers across freemium, web3.0 and skill-based real money gaming.”

He added, “Ad tech companies with deep data processing capabilities and first-party data ownership will emerge as winners in gaming-focused ad tech and will help Datawrkz to create value for itself as well as for Nazara shareholders.”

Nitish Mittersain, Founder and Joint MD of Nazara Technologies said, “As always, it’s a great moment for us to welcome a new friend to our ‘Friends of Nazara’ network and I believe Senthil and the entire Datawrkz team will add great value to what we are building at Nazara over the next few years”

Govindan said, "We started this company with a vision to disrupt the digital advertising space. Datawrkz was already on a fast track to achieving our objective with rapid growth and satisfied clients around the world. Through our partnership with Nazara, I see our pace accelerating further. While Datawrkz will be able to immediately bring our natural strengths to bear within the existing Nazara fold, this also gives both sides a tremendous opportunity to build global advertising and publisher monetization products with a sharp focus on the gaming vertical.”

Nazara has acquired a majority stake in Nodwin Gaming (57.05%); Next Wave Multimedia (52.38%), which operates World Cricket Championship (WCC), in addition to investment in Absolute Sports Private Limited, which operates Sportskeeda (63.90%) and Paper Boat Apps (50.91%) - gamified early learning subscription app and OpenPlay - Skill Gaming (100%).

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