Microsoft in talks to invest in Indian gaming company Zupee – sources

Microsoft has reportedly held investment talks with the Indian gaming company Zupee and offered to potentially lead a $100 million funding round, anonymous sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. With the deal, Microsoft aims to get Zupee to use its Azure and other cloud gaming services, they added. 

Founded in 2018 by Dilsher Singh and Siddhant Saurabh, Zupee currently has 6 free-to-play board games, such as Ludo and Snakes and Ladders, that offer users the chance to earn real money. It has generated over 70 million downloads and raised more than $120 million so far. Earlier this year, the startup raised $102 million in a Series B funding round that brought its valuation up to $600 million.

Sources said that Microsoft and Zupee haven’t struck an agreement yet, therefore there is a possibility that the deal won’t go through at all. Another person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that one of Microsoft’s teams recommended the tech giant to walk away from the agreement, expressing concerns that betting-games could harm its reputation.

Zupee and Microsoft have not yet made any statements on the agreement.

The news arrives months after Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The acquisition is currently facing antitrust investigations in many countries around the world including the United Kingdom and the United States.

Last month, the UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) said that the acquisition could significantly harm competition and entered the second phase of its investigation, which it said will be finalized before March 1st, 2023.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also launched an investigation into Microsoft’s largest acquisition, however hasn’t announced its decision yet. On Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Seeking Alpha that FTC has “significant concerns” regarding the deal and its decision could arrive by late November.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia became the first country to approve the deal in late August, followed by Brazil which has just announced its decision.

Written by Tuna Cetin


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