How a Start-up Transformed the Indian Mobile Gaming Industry
The availability of cheap internet data and affordable mobile phones has led to a massive spike in smartphone usage and the gaming industry has benefited greatly from it. According to Sensor Tower’s report, mobile game downloads crossed 4 billion globally in early 2020, with almost 40 percent year-on-year growth.
Compared to other major markets, the Indian mobile gaming industry has seen very few local developers. However, there are a few start-ups like Junglee Games that stood against the established players and carved a niche for themselves. Junglee Games has close to 50 million users today.
With popular titles like Junglee Rummy, Teen Patti, and Howzat, Junglee Games has become a leader in India’s skill-gaming space. Junglee’s engineers and designers have also worked on several international AAA titles, including Transformers, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Real Steel.
Junglee Games is the fastest-growing skill games company in South East Asia. Some of Junglee’s games made their way to the top games on mobile app stores.
Junglee Games was founded in San Francisco, California, in 2012 by Ankush Gera, an Indian entrepreneur living in the US. Gera had earlier started a company called Monsoon, which was acquired by Capital One in 2015. Junglee Rummy is Junglee Games’ first major title. It has seen its popularity skyrocket in the last few years, especially since 2015 when the Supreme Court of India upheld its earlier decision that playing rummy for real money is legal in India as rummy is a game of skill.
Junglee Games was on a trajectory of success even before the launch of Reliance Jio, which made 4G internet data easily affordable for everyone, but the launch of Jio gave the company a further boost. In 2014, Junglee launched the Teen Patti app on the Google Play Store in India. It became the #1 card game app and #5 in overall top-grossing games in less than a year. By mid-2017, the company had a user base of 5 million, which doubled in the following year. Now in 2020, the company is close to the 50-million mark.
Even though the company has now diversified its product and launched several games, most of Junglee’s revenue still comes from the skill game of rummy. With cheap internet data and affordable smartphones available in the market, Junglee’s user base is expected to witness very high growth year on year. Junglee now has its teams in 7 countries, including the USA and India.