Google launches accelerator for gaming startups in Asia
Tech giant Google is launching an accelerator programme for gaming startups and developers in Asia.
In a blog post, the company announced that the initiative - named Indie Games Accelerator - will be a four-month programme for independent game developers.
The initiative will support independent startups without any financial backing from countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the blog.
Google said that emerging markets contribute more than 40% of game installs on Google Play - the app store for Android devices . It also said that there is “rapid smartphone adoption” in these areas.
The US-headquartered firm said this programme is a special edition of its Launchpad Accelerator with a gaming curriculum and mentorship from gaming experts.
The participants will be called to attend gaming boot camps in Singapore and will receive personalised mentorship from the Google team.
Launchpad Accelerator is a worldwide project that helps startups build and scale their products with guidance from Google's team of investors, mentors, and industry professionals.
In December last year, Google had shortlisted four Indian startups for the fifth edition of its Launchpad Accelerator programme.
The shortlisted ventures were BabyChakra, m.Paani, Niramai and SocialCops.
In all, 30 Indian startups have joined the launchpad accelerator programme so far.
In a recent interview with TechCircle, the programme's India manager Paul Ravindranath said the programme was steadily expanding its scope and reach to help Indian startups solve local problems.
Under the Launchpad umbrella, a mentorship programme called Solve for India was launched last year and Google is now considering making it longer than a week-long event.
Separately, Google's Sand Hill programme has lent support to high-growth startups including UrbanClap and FreshMenu by working with venture capitalists and helping them to scale.
Google conducts one-week programmes for early-stage startups and a two-day event for mature companies. It holds a Launchpad Scale programme for startups that are rapidly scaling up.
Google also makes investments in startups directly via its parent Alphabet Inc. and through two entities—GV, earlier known as Google Ventures, makes investments at the seed and early stage firms, while CapitalG, earlier known as Google Capital, makes late-stage investments.
CapitalG’s investments in India include math learning startup Cuemath, digital healthcare platform Practo, cloud-based customer engagement platform Freshworks Inc, and Girnar Software, which owns auto portals CarDekho.com and Gaadi.com.