Thu. 30 Jun 2022, 9:06am ET Benzinga News

 via NewMediaWire -- NextPlay Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTP) (the "Company") announced that HotPlay, the Company's in-game advertising ("IGA") unit, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Triplecom Media PVT Ltd. (iTAP), whose iTAP platform is a fast-growing comprehensive over-the-top (OTT) entertainment platform in India, which sets forth general terms of a proposed partnership between the Company and iTAP. The MOU contemplates a collaboration between the parties, whereby each party will provide certain services and access to certain of their platforms to the other in order to enable each party to provide more comprehensive solutions to their respective customers and users. The parties intend to target India's fast growing online gaming market, where it is estimated approximately 390 million online gamers reside, first, and to expand to additional international markets thereafter. The MOU provides that the collaboration will include the integration of HotPlay's IGA into iTAP's existing entertainment and e-sports content, amongst other things. The collaboration is designed to create an entertainment ecosystem in-line with both organizations' business objectives, tapping into India's fast-growing market. The MOU sets forth the preliminary agreement of the parties related to the proposed partnership; however, it does not obligate either party to proceed with the relationship, and the establishment of the partnership and final terms governing the partnership remain subject to execution of definitive agreements related thereto. 

iTAP, an OTT comprehensive entertainment platform in India, offers a wide-range of entertainment such as comedy shorts, mobisodes, films, serials, lifestyle features, gaming and e-sports, with NFTs and Metaverse opportunities. iTAP was founded by Kunal Dasgupta, a veteran in the Indian entertainment industry and the former CEO of Sony Picture Networks India.

Despite the pandemic and recent economic turmoil, the parties believe that India remains a bright spot for growth. This proposed partnership aims to leverage opportunities rising in the Indian market, particularly in the high growth markets of hyper-casual genre games, e-sports and gaming tournaments. Both parties see hyper-casual gaming as an opportunity in the market due to its easy-to-play nature, which can engage a broader group of audiences. HotPlay's current hyper-casual game portfolio includes more than 50 games and is growing.

Nithinan Boonyawattanapisut, co-CEO of the Company, stated, "The Company sees great opportunity in the Indian market, not only from the size of the market itself but also from the remarkable growth rate of its entertainment segment, particularly in the hyper-casual game space and overall gaming industry.

"We are optimistic about this strategic collaboration with iTAP's fast-growing OTT platform and the opportunity to enter the Indian market. We believe the recent completion of our goGame asset purchase, our hyper-casual game portfolio, and our HotPlay IGA solution offer a great synergistic value to a comprehensive entertainment platform like iTAP. The integration of HotPlay games and IGA is expected to better position iTAP's entertainment ecosystem in India and augment revenue opportunities through iTAP's rapidly growing user base."

Kunal Dasgupta, Triplecom Media iTAP Founder and CEO, commented, "We believe the proposed partnership positions HotPlay to help strengthen iTAP gaming services, as well as adding its IGA technology into iTAP to offer in-game coupons and rewards, bridging the online-to-offline transactional activities in the rapidly growing Indian market. The synergies and further opportunity for the partnership is exciting."

Additional opportunities for HotPlay and iTAP to explore further collaboration include NFTs, digital fashion, and other virtual artifacts for the Metaverse.