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Paytm-backed mobile gaming platform Gamepind appoints COO

Paytm-backed mobile gaming platform Gamepind appoints COO
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Mobile gaming platform Gamepind has appointed Sudhanshu Gupta, a former executive at digital wallet firm Paytm, as its chief operating officer (COO).

Gamepind Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, which runs Gamepind, is a joint venture between China’s Alibaba Group-owned AGTech Holdings Ltd and Paytm’s parent One97 Communications Ltd. Alibaba owns a significant stake in Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led Paytm.

In a statement, Gamepind said that Gupta will oversee the gaming platform’s operations. Gupta had joined Paytm in 2013 was part of the core team that developed the Paytm marketplace. Since 2016, he had been leading new initiatives and verticals incubated by the company.

“With the penetration of smartphones and mobile internet, gaming is poised to become a multi-billion-dollar opportunity in India,” said Gupta.

Launched in January this year, Gamepind offers casual and social games with loyalty rewards for users of the Paytm app. Gamepind also offers coupons and products to mobile shoppers and casual gamers as part of efforts to integrate them with Paytm’s broader offerings.

Gamepind also said on Monday that it had received an infusion of $16 million (around Rs 110 crore at current exchange rates) from from AGTech and One97 to expand its operations.
 
That commitment was made when the joint venture was announced in July last year by AGTech Holdings Ltd in a regulatory filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

AGTech has a 45% stake in the joint venture while Paytm owns a 55% stake.

Gamepind was originally a game aggregation service for mobile operators. The portal offered downloadable games under different genres such as adventure, action, puzzle and racing. The platform was offered to customers of cellular service providers like Airtel and Idea Cellular.

In November 2013, the company had rebranded the service to make an entry into the digital gaming market under Paytm Games.

In January this year, Paytm said it would revive Gamepind in a new avatar in partnership with AGTech.

Hong Kong-based AGTech is an integrated games and entertainment company. It is owned by Alibaba Group’s Ali Fortune Investment Holding Ltd and Ant Financial. 

The venture is AGTech’s first major international initiative in the Indian subcontinent.

“Going forward, AGTech will continue to strengthen our business in India, while seeking to continue globalizing our business in other selected overseas markets,” said GM Cheng, director at Gamepind Entertainment.

Paytm’s parent company One97 operates digital payments and e-commerce businesses through separate entities. It has previously raised funding from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, China's Alibaba Group and multi-stage investment firm SAIF Partners.

Paytm has been steadily expanding its offerings and is set to formally its launch its wealth management business, Paytm Money.

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