How an 18-year-old small-town engineering student built a gaming startup, Vovero
When you hear Paras Waykole use business jargon, you know he means serious business, but when he suddenly mentions semester exams, you realize he is just an 18-year-old.
Just like any other teenager, Paras dreamt of cracking the IIT-JEE after school to get into one of the country’s reputed engineering institutions, but he did not make it. This did not deter his spirits, as he already knew what he was passionate about – gaming and game development — and he didn’t need a fancy degree to nurture this obsession. He joined an engineering college in Sangamner, Maharashtra, and decided to do what he would have done anyway. Says Paras,
I spent a lot of time reading about the startup ecosystem and the success stories I read always inspired me. This led me to building Vovero Technology early this year.
Paras, whose parents ran a computer course center in Jalgaon, had access to computers since early in his childhood. His obsession for video gaming started from the time he was four years old, but his interest in developing games was not a stroke of chance.
“One day, I wondered about how games are built and went over the internet in search of this knowledge. After a lot of research, I found myself coding a PC game in the next few days,” says Paras, who started building games when he was 12 years old.
Paras did not have a medium to distribute his games to people out there, so he just emailed it to a few friends – who loved it and urged him to build a few more. He built four more PC games after that.
Birth of the startup
“I wanted to find a medium to build and save games. I had lost all my previous games because of the lack of a medium to develop on. Google Play solved my problem, and then I started building Android games,” he adds.
The next step was launching his gaming company. With an initial investment of one lakh rupees from his parents, Paras registered Vovero Technology in February 2015.
The startup has three team members, including Sandip and Shailaja Waykole, who take care of the administrative aspect of the business. On paper, the Vovero office is the Waykole’s residence, but this teenager does most of his coding sitting in his dorm room while simultaneously juggling engineering coursework at the college.
He knew it was not going to be easy, especially in the early days. Paras says,
I know our initial days aren't going to be great because we are still struggling to make revenues, but I spend a lot of time trying to research and explore new ways to generate revenues in gaming industry.
What are the Vovero games?
Vovero has four signature game titles (all built by Paras): Aquafishing, Pattern, Meteor Falls, and Candy Math. Aquafishing is a fishing game in which users have to catch fish from a pond. Then there is Pattern, which is an innovative version of Tic-Tac-Toe in a multiplayer setting.
Meteor Falls is an action game in which the player has to steer clear of falling meteors. The last game, Candy Math, is a game built for those who want to improve their math. In this game, the player has to pick the candy with the right answer before the problem disappears from the screen.
So far so good
Within a short span of three months since the launch of the startup, Vovero has amassed quite a few loyal gaming fans across India, Indonesia and USA. The games have got a total of around 4000-5000 downloads with a minimum rating of 4.3 on Google Play.
“Right now, I am working on a Facebook app idea that will change the way people update their statuses on FB. Meanwhile, we will continue to build games for Android, and will soon be expanding our operations to iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry,” says Paras.