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"We Got Funded!" UAE-Based GameCentric Raises US$1.5 Million In Angel Investment As It Looks To Triple Its Regional User Base Launched in December 2023, GameCentric was created as a platform that can be used by gamers across age groups and skill levels.

By Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

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GameCentric
Saad Khan, founder, GameCentric

GameCentric, a UAE-based gaming platform that is committed to connecting brands with gamers, has raised US$1.5 million in an angel investment round led by UAE-based angel investor Bilal Merchant.

The funding is expected to be allocated towards improving the platform's features, widening its user base and footprint across the MENA region, and, ultimately, enhancing the gaming experience for its users. The fresh influx of capital will also be used to achieve GameCentric's goal of transitioning into a Web3.0 platform that incorporates digital assets -such as cryptocurrencies- by 2025.

Launched in December 2023 by Saad Khan, GameCentric was created as a platform that can be used by gamers across age groups and skill levels, within the competitive as well as casual gaming space.

"The vision of GameCentric revolves around redefining the gaming experience by creating a gaming platform that transcends borders and becomes more of a gaming cultural phenomenon by bringing a wide variety of gamer capabilities across a wide variety of gaming genres covering both Web2.0 and, soon, Web3.0 game titles," Khan says. "Additionally, the platform also serves as an end-to-end gaming-as-a-service enabler for regional and global brands looking to foray into the world of gaming, and helps diversify their efforts of brand and customer engagement to develop deeper brand affinity and loyalty."

In just the three months since the platform officially went live, GameCentric has already forged important partnerships with entities across the region. In Saudi Arabia, it has partnered up with POWR eSports -an esports organization that organizes brand activations and influencer management campaigns in the Kingdom- with the hopes to boost its gamer acquisition strategy. Closer to home, GameCentric has also clinched a collaboration with LIV Bank, the UAE's first digital bank launched by Emirates NBD, that will see the platform offer a a gamified approach to support the bank's banking and financial education objectives.

The GameCentric team (Left to right): Ray Joseph, Head of Product; Kashan Rafique, Strategy and Web3.0 Advisor; Adveta Dwivedi, Growth Hacker; Saad Khan, founder and CEO; Nadia Nasr, Head of Marketing; and Nauman Moghal, Business Head. Source: GameCentric

The propositions GameCentric has thus curated for brands, game publishers and gamers across the region so far have largely been due to the cutting-edge technologies that have been integrated into the platform. That would explain why Khan, in a bid to stay committed to the latest technological trends in the gaming space, decided that becoming a Web3.0 platform would be the next logical step for GameCentric.

"By embracing Web3.0 technologies, GameCentric will reinforce its platform's security, providing users with a transparent and trustworthy environment," Khan continues. "Additionally, personalized experiences will be amplified through artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms driven by Web3.0 data, tailoring recommendations and content to individual preferences. The introduction of utility tokens and non fungible tokens (NFTs) will gamify interactions, offering users exclusive rewards and content. Furthermore, transitioning to a Web3.0-based platform opens avenues for new features such as token economies, decentralized governance, and interoperability, enriching user engagement and fostering collaborative opportunities within the gaming community."

Related: "We Got Funded!" Abu Dhabi-Based Foodtech Startup The Cloud Secures US$12 Million In A Series B Round

But with a fresh influx of capital worth $1.5 million under his belt, finetuning the platform's features isn't all there is to Khan's plans for his business. The founder has a four-pronged strategy already underway- the first of which is the aforementioned plan to adopt Web3.0 technology. "Secondly, a significant portion of the funds will be dedicated to expanding into new markets, particularly targeting the GCC, the sub-continent, and Southeast Asia," Khan adds. "This expansion will enable us to tap into a broader audience of gamers, driving user acquisition and platform growth. Thirdly, we'll be investing in recruiting top talent across various disciplines to further enrich our platform and offerings. Lastly, marketing and branding efforts will receive substantial funding to increase visibility and attract new users to the platform. Strengthening our brand presence and reaching out to potential users will be instrumental in driving user engagement and accelerating our overall growth trajectory."

Saad Khan, founder and CEO, GameCentric. Source: GameCentric

GameCentric's market expansion plans, however, are not exactly modest. Over the next two years, the platform aims to triple its user base across the MENA- and the gaming trends within the region, says the founder, will have a big role to play in realizing this goal. "It's important to note that just within the MENA region, we are expecting to see [as per a report by Statista] a gamer audience to the tune of more than 80 million gamers by 2027, with revenues of over $2.5 billion," Khan says. "These two metrics of growth continue to demonstrate the pent-up demand getting released for gaming across markets,genres and gamer types, especially among casual gamer who are looking to compete for leaderboard statuses and earn prize winnings as a result. We will continue to witness this trend in the short term over the next 6 to 12 months. GameCentric will thus be utilizing this period to establish key brand and game publisher partnerships furthering our gamer engagement offerings, with the Saudi market being at the forefront of this growth explosion and expansion."

In the long-term, Khan expresses that he would like to see his platform collaborate with renowned game publishers and also develop community-driven programs to strengthen engagement on the GameCentric platform. For now, however, the founder has his sights set on achieving the goals he and his team have mapped out for the next couple of years. "The journey of GameCentric will continue in 2024 to further differentiate itself as our product roadmap will soon offer gamers to engage with the platform's own loyalty and subscription program, efficient prize pool settlement for our gamers community, and an e-commerce marketplace that offers gamers a wide choice of digital products and services," Khan says. "And, of course, as mentioned earlier too, the platform will undergo a transformation by early 2025 to eventually become a blockchain-based Web3.0 platform that will offer a unique gamer value proposition including gamer tokens and digital assets as part of its offering."

Related: "We Got Funded!" UAE-Based Silkhaus Raises Undisclosed Multi-Million-Dollar Pre-Series A Round As It Doubles Down On Expansion Plans
Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.

She is an MBA (Finance) graduate with past experience in the corporate sector, and was also co-founder of CyberSWIFTT- an anti-cyberbullying campaign that ran from 2017-2018 as part of the e7: Daughters of the Emirates program.

Ahmed is particularly keen on writing stories involving people-centric leadership, female-owned startups, and entrepreneurs who've beaten significant odds to realize their goals.

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