Studio Sirah, a Bangalore-based mobile developer, has raised $830k in a unique round of seed funding.
Studio Sirah will use the funds to develop Kurukshetra: Ascension, a strategic card brawler based on Indian mythology. It also intends to produce additional mid-core mobile games in the future. It marks a notable step in the right direction for the gaming industry, with games on Spin Online Casino reaping massively from new technological developments.
It's the debut game by Abhaas Shah and Prateek Shah, two brothers who grew up playing games like Age of Empires, Civilization, and Hearthstone. They created Studio Sirah about a year ago, based on the notion that the Indian gamer is becoming more knowledgeable, and that there is a gap in the market for culturally relevant Indian material in games. Studio Sirah was founded with the intention of focusing on midcore games (these have hardcore themes that can be played in a short time on mobile devices). Their debut game will have strategic gameplay, engaging graphics, and a sophisticated growth system, according to them. Despite the fact that they are focusing on mobile initially, they have stated that the first game would be available on both mobile and PC.
Lumikai, an Indian venture capital firm, led the round, with participation from Alexis Bonte (COO, Stillfront), Sameer Pitalwalla, and others (director, Epic Games) Piyush Shah (Inmobi co-founder), Akshat Rathee (Nodwin Games founder), and Roshni Rathi (partner, BCG)
"Gaming has always been a passion for us, and we are truly thrilled to be on this journey," said Abhaas Shah, Studio Sirah CEO and co-founder. "With the backing of Lumikai and our superb set of angels, we can breathe life into our ambitious goal of evolving Indian content through games. Salone and Justin are former studio operators, bringing hands-on industry knowledge, boldness of vision and a global network of experts and partners - we could not have asked for more."
Prateek Shah has worked at businesses such as Nvidia and has a technical background from Georgia Tech. Abhaas Shah attended the University of California at Berkeley and worked for Bain & Company. During the pandemic, though, he returned home to be with his family. He and his brother decided to create a game firm while sheltering in place.
“We grew up playing a ton of games, from Contra on Atari to Age of Empires on the PC,” Abhaas Shah said in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s always been a bonding point, a connection point for the two of us. We have very different backgrounds. When the pandemic hit, it gave us time to actually get back together as a family and talk about our childhood and gaming. We didn’t see any good Indian content that we would like to play as gamers. There are a lot of hyper casual and casual games, but these are not the games that appeal to us.”
General Partner at Lumikai Salone Sehgal, added: "We have been deeply impressed with the blue-sky, innovative thinking, game design insights combined with speed of execution demonstrated by Abhaas and Prateek. The growing sophistication of the Indian gamer has meant a greater demand for world-class IP with culturally resonant content."
"We deeply believe in the power of high-quality, India-first, original IP in mid-core games towards unlocking value. Trailblazer phenomena are real in gaming and we are proud to support Studio Sirah on their ambitious journey."
Lumikai has made a number of investments recently, most recently leading a $1.5 million investment round in Bangalore-based mid-core studio All-Star Games in March.
In December 2020, it also raised $1 million for Bombay Play, an Indian studio formed by former Zynga and Moonfrog employees.