Gurugram-based skill-based gaming startup Zupee has raised $8 Mn in its Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners India with the participation of Falcon Edge Capital, WestCap Group, Orios Venture Partners. Smile Group, an existing investors of Zupee, also participated in the round. Smile Group had invested $1 Mn in a seed funding round of Zupee.
With the recent funding round, Zupee is planning to improve the technology component in its gaming product. The startup is also planning to hire more employees while keeping aside some funds for marketing of the product as well.
Founded in 2008 by Dilsher Singh Malhi, Zupee runs live quiz tournaments on the mobile-first platform. On these tournaments, users can compete with friends and other players for prizes. Currently, the platform is hosting over 2K live quiz tournaments which can be played 24/7 on the application.
According to Malhi, the company’s growth in the last year has reaffirmed the fact that people are ready to place bets on trivia and quizzes with a chance to win real money. “We aim to add 100 Mn users to become a leader in the skill-based gaming in India,” Malhi added.
Zupee claims that it has witnessed a growth of 100% in the user base in the last 12 months. At the same time, the startup has seen gross transaction value growing over 700%. As of now, the application has been downloaded over 5 Mn downloads and is available in English and Hindi. The startup claims that over 10 Mn games are played every month on the gaming platform.
All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) CEO Roland Landers estimates that India’s skill-based real money market is currently worth about INR 2000 Cr ($281.5 Mn). He also expects the industry to grow at a steady pace of around 30-35% in the upcoming times.
Indeed, this gaming segment is set to boom, especially due to the imposed lockdown in the country. With more time in hand and less work to do, many people in India are playing more games on mobile devices than before.
In this gaming segment, Zupee will compete with the likes of Mumbai-based Mobile Premier League (MPL) and WinZO, which are two of the biggest players in the casual gaming space. While MPL is backed by marquee investors such as Sequoia India, Times Internet, and GoVentures, Winzo has raised funds from Hike and Kalaari.
Recently, WinZO’s cofounder Saumya Singh shared with Inc42 that the company has witnessed a 30% surge in new users in the initial days of the lockdown. Similarly, other startups have also noted an increase in the number of users and traffic on the platform.