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Sixth Sense buys into Sachin-backed Smaaash
| November 27, 2017
Domestic consumer focused venture capital fund Sixth Sense Ventures has struck possibly pre-IPO deal with Smaaash, the country's largest network of in-city family entertainment centers owned by Shripal Morakhia and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. Smaaash Entertainment, co-owned by former owner of SSKI-Sharekhan Shripal Morakhia and former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, is known for its sports simulation technology and proprietary gamification technologies such as a unique twilight bowling zone, motor racing and bike racing simulators and the go-karting tracks in Mumbai and Gurugram. "Smaaash is uniquely positioned to fulfil the latent demand of family entertainment within city boundaries, which is almost non-existent and there is a huge first mover advantage with limited free space, increasing urbansition and higher disposable income," Sixth Sense founder and CEO Nikhil Vora said. Sixth Sense is said to have invested just under Rs 30 crore though the the investment figurewas not disclosed officilaly. Smaaash operates 30 centers with six lakh sqft of entertainment zone across top Indian metros and had recently acquired blue0 entertainment, a bowling venture from PVR Cinemas and Major Cineplex. Smaaash is said to be consider an IPO sometime in 2018.
Exclusive: Tendulkar-backed Smaaash raises capital from Sixth Sense Ventures
| November 27, 2017
Gaming arcade operator Smaaash Entertainment Pvt. Ltd has raised fresh funding from Sixth Sense Ventures, the head of the consumer-centric venture capital firm said. Nikhil Vora told VCCircle that Sixth Sense picked up a minority stake in the company. “I believe Smaaash will have an extremely interesting journey, being an entertainment player with a compelling product proposition and a futuristic global gaming play.” Vora, who has joined the company’s board as part of the transaction, said the VC firm has made a large investment in Smaaash, but did not disclose the quantum of funding. Sixth Sense typically invests between $7-10 million (Rs 45-65 crore) in its portfolio firms. VCCircle could not immediately ascertain the financial details. Smaaash is promoted by Shripal Morakhia, who is credited with building some of the most reputed Indian consumer and financial services brands, including SSKI, Sharekhan, YOBOHO, Amar Chitra Katha and iDream Productions. Smaaash Entertainment Smaaash is backed by cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and sports investment fund FidelisWorld. In April, VCCircle had reported that Smaaash had hired Axis Capital Ltd and Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd to manage its proposed initial public offering. Set up in 2009, Smaaash owns and operates sports-centric digital entertainment centres for cricket, football, racing, bowling and other recreational activities. The company operates 30 centres across India, besides having a global presence through its centres in the US, China and the West Asian countries. Smaaash has aggressively invested in research and development to develop its gaming properties, and have a number of patents for virtual and augmented reality-based offerings, including for cricket and football. In May 2014, FidelisWorld had bought a 39% stake in the company for $10.8 million. In August, the company had agreed to acquire multiplex chain PVR Ltd’s bowling joint-venture BluO Entertainment Ltd for Rs 86 crore ($13.5 million) in an all-cash deal. Sixth Sense Ventures Sixth Sense made the final close of its debut fund last year, after readjusting the target corpus of the fund. Its portfolio firms include Weddingz.in, an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors, JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Pvt Ltd, an oral care products firm, and Mumbai-based hyperlocal logistics service provider Grab. The venture capital firm had recently appointed Nimisha Nagarsekar, the former head – of commercial and investor relations at Colgate India, as its chief financial officer. Vora’s investments In his personal capacity, Vora has invested in One97 Communications, the parent of mobile wallet and e-commerce firm Paytm; Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd, which runs Kangaroo Kids Preschool and Billabong High International School; and Vini Cosmetics, a consumer goods company which had raised funding from Sequoia Capital. He has also backed sports-focused digital display solutions firm Technology Frontiers which is also backed by Avigo Capital, and MRO AirWorks which counts NEA and GTI Capital as its investors. Earlier this year, Vora had sold his stake in Paytm to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to reap gains of almost 75 times.