Gaming & entertainment centre SMAAASH shuts operations due to financial crisis
SMAAASH, the popular Indian gaming and entertainment centre operator, is shutting down its operations due to the financial crisis. The decision to shut operations came amid continued lockdown, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and dwindling footfall in malls.
SMAAASH, which had Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador, was struggling to stay afloat for the last few months; therefore, it took the call for closure. The company used to be a popular hangout for urban teens and tweens before coronavirus lockdowns.
The firm has sent emails to malls and employees about the closure.
Shripal Morakhia, Founder of SMAAASH, said in an email to its employees, “I am sorry that despite my best efforts I have failed in my efforts to save the company from its premature death.”
“The investors had given the company their word to support the company but it ultimately did not result in capital infusion leading to the collapse of the Mumbai-based company. But when it came to actual funding, it just did not materialize. I am saddened that a dream called Smaaash had to end in this manner,” he added.
Journey of SMAAASH
SMAAASH was started with an 80,000 sq ft gaming zone in Mumbai in 2012. The company managed to operate in more than 40 locations across 19 cities in India.
SMAAASH offered entertainment, sports like cricket, football, go-karting, bowling, and also virtual games with arcade games in 19 cities across India and one in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
In January, SMAAASH announced that its revenue for the calendar year 2019 had increased by 22% to Rs 300 crore. The company claimed that it has received five million footfalls to its dozens of centres. It was further hoping to grow its traffic by another 10% in 2020, however, the pandemic led to its collapse.
The gaming and entertainment centre operator has investors including Sixth Sense Ventures, Mauritius-based private equity, and some high net worth individuals. In 2017, the Mumbai-based gaming company received funding from another PE firm Fidelis World.