Founders: Shripal Morakhia
Financing status: USD 14 million
Virtual reality (VR) gaming and entertainment arcade Smaaash has raised USD 14 million in funding from HNI (high networth individual) clients of Avendus Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. This comes less than a month after the company secured USD 3.9 million in funding from consumer-focused investment firm Six Sense Ventures. The newly raised funding will go towards further expansion of its arcade and event centers.
Smaaash is a offline virtual-reality-oriented gaming and sports center. The startup operates a chain of bowling, party spaces and customized indoor gaming centers in India and multiple digital entertainment centers for cricket, go-kart, bowling, and other recreational activities. At any of Smaaash’s centers, customers can host various kinds of parties such as birthday parties, pre-wedding parties, and team-building events.
Smaaash is backed by Sachin Tendulkar, a renowned cricketer, and sports investment fund FidelisWorld, which in 2014 acquired a 39% stake in Smaaash for USD 10.8 million. The company is notable for having devoted a large portion of funds to researching and developing virtual and augmented reality-based patents.
The first Smaaash gaming center was founded in 2012 by Indian businessman, film director, and film producer Shripal Morakhia in Mumbai and spans 40,000 square feet. The company now operates 30 centers across India including in the urban areas of Gurugram, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Noida, and Ludhiana.
“We are not in the traditional toys and games business. All of us outgrow that…The whole idea is to take these experiences to the next level in the virtual reality space,” said Morakhia.
(Top image from smaaash.in)