As the online gaming industry, including transaction-based real money skill games and casual games, goes through a record momentum in the country, Delhi-based online gaming startup WinZO has announced a $20 Mn fund for the Indian game developer ecosystem. Earlier, the startup had announced Fund II of $5 Mn in 2020 and Fund I of $1.5 Mn in 2019.
The developers’ fund comes on the heels of WinZO raising $65 Mn in a Series C funding round led by California-based Griffin Gaming Partners, taking the total tally of capital raised by the startup to $90 Mn. Founded by Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh in early 2018, WinZO partners with third-party developers to host games on their android app, where users can enjoy personalised multiplayer gameplay experiences.
The platform hosts 70+ skill based games such as carrom, cricket, 8-ball pool, Sniper 3D, Bubble Shooter, Fruit Samurai, Knife Up, fantasy leagues, and trivia-based games, with monetary benefits. These games are acquired from developers and studios from across the world and published by WinZO. The platform, available in 12 languages such as English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri, claims to have over 50 Mn registered users and 25 Mn monthly active users.
Through the developers’ fund, WinZO said it will cut cheques of between $100,000 and $1 Mn in exchange for equity and deeper integration with its technology stack from its current fund. It also claims to be working with 150 developers to create a strong pipeline of games, that is expected to go live in the next 12 months.
WinZO competes with several other skill-based gaming startups in India such as Adda52, PokerDangal, Spartan Poker, Octro, as well as fantasy sports platforms such as Dream11 and Mobile Premier League (MPL), among others.
A recent FICCI report and consultancy firm EY observed that the online gaming industry, including transaction-based real money skill games and casual games, clocked around INR 6,460 Cr in revenues in the financial year 2019-2020, with transaction-based games accounting for around INR 4,600 Cr.
The report estimates the CAGR of the industry to be more than 40% and the industry to reach a size of around INR 18,700 Cr by the financial year 2021-22.