BENGALURU: Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba is looking to expand its hold in the country as its AGTech Holdings and Paytm, a payment platform it partly owns, launch Gamepind, a new standalone gaming platform in a joint venture.

The new app, which will also be accessible through the Paytm platform, will contain a number of social, casual, and sport games with exclusive rewards, Livemint reported.

Naturally, the role of a payments company in the venture means cash is not far away. The platform will offer cash coupons and products, allowing merchants to use it as a marketing platform to engage with mobile gamers.

“India’s young consumers are experimenting and discovering more entertainment options on the mobile”, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive officer of Paytm, said in a statement. “Gaming is therefore growing in the country and becoming big with mobile users.

“AGTech’s expertise and experience in global gaming market will help us accelerate our plans in gaming and bring exciting content to our users”, Sharma added.

According to inc42, Paytm will hold 55% of shares, while the remaining 45% will go to AGTech holdings. The deal was announced in July last year, when the venture filed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with AGTech telling investors that the move was intended to deepen engagement on the Paytm platform.

“We are excited to partner with Paytm to localize this unique platform for its 300 million and growing registered customer base by combining Paytm’s local resources and our expertise in gaming and other user engagement activities”, John Sun, chairman of AGTech said this week.

India’s gaming industry is small but growing steadily. In May 2017, a Google-KPMG report said it expected the industry to be worth $1bn by 2021, meaning a growth rate of 20%.

Sourced from Livemint, inc42, Economic Times, FirstPost; additional content by WARC staff