New Delhi: The Mobile Premier League (MPL), an app for esports and skill games has laid off 100 employees, or approximately 10% of its workforce, and abandoned the Indonesia market, as part of a broader decline in the Indian startup environment following a pandemic-fueled boom in the last two years.
On the MPL app, the Bengaluru-based company is also discontinuing its streaming service.
“It’s been a whirlwind of a few months. The growth-at-all-costs mindset has now been reversed. Profitable growth is now rewarded above growth at all costs, according to the market” In an email to staff, MPL co-founders Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra stated.
People who are laid off will receive a full severance package as well as other perks. As per the report, ESOP holders would be offered the option to keep their options for an additional ten years.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which forced people to stay indoors and caused a large increase in mobile game downloads and user engagement, was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the mobile gaming industry. According to a recent survey by consulting firm RedSeer, mobile app downloads in India surged by 50% and user engagement improved by 20%.
Despite investing substantial resources and funds in Indonesian operations over the previous three years, the founders stated they are quitting because the “return profile has been several multiples lower” than what they were and are witnessing in India, or even in their young US firm.
“To maintain our long-term health and prosperity as a firm, it is time to make the painful decision to redeploy our resources in other sectors of our business,” they added.
The founders stated that they intend to “use the ample cash reserves” they have to “grow their core business while achieving EBITDA neutrality,” continue to invest in high-conviction bets like its US operations and its recently launched gaming studio Mayhem Studios, and wind down businesses that aren’t working.
They stated that its US operations, along with their recent acquisition of Gameduell in Europe, will enable them to focus on two of the world’s most valuable gaming marketplaces.
In February 2022, MPL acquired Germany-based GameDuell in order to enter the mobile free-to-play (F2P) gaming market. In seven languages, GameDuell offers over 40 casual online skill games, including community card and board games.
MPL, founded by Srinivas and Malhotra in 2018, offers over 70 games on its Android and iOS apps, including daily fantasy sports, quizzing, board games, esports, and casual games.
In India, Indonesia, Europe, and the United States, it claims to have over 90 million users. According to the firm, it has partnerships with a number of game companies and developer partners who distribute games on its platform.