“India holds out the promise of immense possibilities, ” says Yash Srivastava, Managing Director, APAC, Coda Payments


“India holds out the promise of immense possibilities, ” says Yash Srivastava, Managing Director, APAC, Coda Payments: Over the past few years, Esports has witnessed a massive surge in terms of growth across the globe. One of the leading third-party alternative payment services, Coda Payments made its presence felt in the gaming market. Yash Srivastava, the managing director, APAC, of Coda Payments exclusively talked to InsideSports sharing his thoughts on the current scenario around eSports in India and their plans for the future. For future updates on Gaming and Esports in India, follow Flizzyy.com

Here are the excerpts from the interview.

1. Coda Payments has experienced massive success since its inception. How has been the experience so far?

As a provider of alternative payment services, and one of the leading third-party app monetization players, we have been offering both customers and publishers a full digital stack of payment options. Asian publishers, despite their prominent presence in this market, found themselves unable to reach, say, three out of four customers, owing to the fact that two of the major mobile game distributors transacted exclusively through credit cards. Identifying this gap in the existing business model, we created an entirely new mechanism centered on offering customers and publishers a diverse set of digital payment options, ranging from instant online bank transfers to digital wallets.

Southeast Asia was the market where we piloted our model, considering the propensity among people to spend freely on gaming, coupled with the per capita income of the population. We tasted success early on in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. We are now exporting that same model to more than 60 countries spanning many continents. Having incubated, successfully, our model in the Southeast Asian Market, we are now taking it global.

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2. Coda Shop has been backed by quite a few marquees so far. How have your experiences been working with them?

Apis Partners, Insight Partners, Smash Capital, and GIC, are among some of the preeminent marquee investors in the fintech sector. We are also working with GMO Global Payment Fund, the strategic management company of which is the GMO Payment Gateway – the largest online payment gateway in Japan. We have been very fortunate in finding partners, who are not only immensely supportive, but are confident about our growth, and believe in our vision. These are players who have made significant investments in the growth stage. The global exposure of our collaboration with these investors will help us build a business that is poised to grow on a significant scale in the years to come.

3. In the Asia-Pacific region, Coda Payment has experienced overwhelming growth. Any plans on spreading it to other continents?

Southeast Asia was the cauldron for Coda’s inception. We then expanded our operations to South Asia, and subsequently, Latin America. Our tentacles are now spreading into the Middle East, Africa, Western Europe, and North America. The model we adopt is different in each country. While in emerging markets, we pitch for alternative payment methods, in developed countries, we look to solve niche problems such as making payments for gifts.

4. Coda Payments has entered several markets. How has the experience been in the Indian market?

There are several reasons that make India an exciting market for Coda. For the digital sector to thrive, you need data offered at modest prices, high-speed internet, great smartphone penetration, and a growing per capita income, combined with a willingness to spend on gaming. The scale of smartphone penetration in India can be guessed at by the fact that per capita data consumption each month is close to 11GB.

India holds out the promise of immense possibilities says
Coda Payments

The whole world is aware of the large stack of digital payments that India has. India processes the largest volume of instant bank transfer transactions, globally. Policies pushed by the government to boost India’s digital infrastructure, with campaigns such as ‘Startup India’ and ‘Digital India’, have contributed to the growth of the gaming sector.

The country has always been the frontrunner when it comes to downloads. India also added the largest number of paid users in 2022. Affordable data, smartphone penetration, overall growth in income, and policies enabling the growth of the digital sector are the four main building blocks for our growth in the Indian market.

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5. After BGMI and the Free Fire Ban, how much was it affected?

As is the case with any emerging market, the top three games account for more than 90% of the revenue. Coda, given its partnership with global players, has had the top game in every market. In 2019, PUBG was our leading title, but when it was banned, and Free Fire gained in popularity, we had the latter as our top-running client. When Free Fire started to wane in popularity, and BGMI was launched, we had that game as one of our main titles.

The benefit of having a global library is that it mitigates the impact of a ban on top-tier games. That being said, I must say that the government’s policies to create a responsible gaming ecosystem, and at an accelerated pace at that, is a very healthy development. The government is also serious about ensuring the creation of two million jobs in the sector over the course of the next 10 years. We remain extremely bullish on the Indian market.

6. How much of a change will it be if BGMI and Free Fire get unbanned?

That would be a momentous, not to mention game-changing, decision, not only for us but also for the whole of the gaming industry in India. At the time BGMI was making USD 100 million, PUBG and Free Fire were raking in USD 300 million from the country, all three games which were sold exclusively by Coda. For app publishers across the globe, India holds out the promise of immense possibilities.

If numbers are anything to go by, the forecast of players in India numbering 700 million in the near future is but one indicator of the scope the country offers for the industry’s potential growth and expansion. Given the concentration of youth in the demographic, easy access to digital and alternative payment modes, not to mention Coda’s track record here, India remains one of our most promising markets.

7. How do you see Coda Payment’s future in other games? Anything different approach can be seen in the coming months?

Coda currently accounts for around 1 to 2% of the USD 180 billion global app market. Should the market continue to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30%, or higher, its value is estimated to reach USD 350 billion in 2025. There are two areas we are focused on: Increasing the company’s current market share, and expanding the market size. When the industry’s value rises to USD 350 billion, Coda’s market share will increase from 2% to 5%, or even 10%, which will result in the company being in a position to enjoy substantial benefits. Given that we have anticipated the market’s growth; Coda must be able to achieve this target with remarkable ease.

Currently, India boasts 500 million gamers, besides being the biggest market for downloads. Last year, India accounted for the highest number of paying customers too. From a policy standpoint, gaming is a sensitive issue. The government’s recognition of electronic sports as ‘sports’ is a welcome move, which will help the industry thrive. We have been collaborating with renowned authors and have partnerships with Call of Duty, Ethic Legends, and Valorant.

Coda is expanding its content offerings beyond gaming to include pleasure, beco, and live streaming as we offer seamless delivery for all digital transactions. We have been holding an esports competition called the coda global series (CGS) to entertain and engage the community and users. We may host a similar competition in India soon.

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