Regional language gaming platform WinZO said on Thursday that it had raised $18 million in a Series B funding round led by Makers Fund and Courtside Ventures. Singapore-based Makers Fund is a global interactive entertainment fund and Courtside Ventures is based in New York.
This is the first investment in India for both funds. Kalaari Capital, which first invested in WinZO in 2018 and led the company’s Series A in 2019, also participated in the round.
Revant Bhate, FinAdvantage, Indigo Edge, and co-founders Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore also joined the round.
WinZO plans to strengthen its content pipeline and go after mobile-first consumers and their gaming needs, it said. Revenues have grown many-fold and it has added 20 million users in the last 12 months, a majority of whom spend over 45 minutes daily on the platform.
“WinZO is at the heart of India’s gaming evolution, a geography we’ve been tracking for some time. Paavan and Saumya’s success through a hyper-focus on their player ecosystem is evident, and a clear asset as they accelerate their growth,” said Michael Cheung, Partner at Makers Fund. The company said it has grown on the back of its dense network of regional language micro influencers and over 30 partner game developers.
“Along with their network, support and fresh financing, we are confident we can propel WinZO even further as a business and become an even more lovable product for our customers. It’s time to put all the learnings and experiences of the past toward building something huge,” said Paavan Nanda, co-founder, WinZo.
The company has also benefitted from the Covid-19 induced lockdowns in India, which resulted in a spike in volumes and user engagement on the platform. The company partners with third-party game studios to host their games on their Android app either with friends or strangers.
“Mobile gaming is a large opportunity in India, and in a short span of time, WinZO has built a high-quality vernacular gaming platform for the masses. We are really proud of their progress and their superior metrics (retention, time spent, etc.) that are a true reflection of customer experience,” said Rahul Garg, Principal at Kalaari Capital.
The platform is available in 12 languages with over 25 million registered users. Clocking over 1 billion micro-transactions per month, WinZO offers more than 70 games across various multiplayer formats.