[Funding alert] Vernacular gaming platform WinZO raises $18M in Series B led by Makers Fund, Courtside Ventures

With this funding, Delhi-based WinZO plans to strengthen its content pipeline, captivate mobile-first consumers and their gaming needs, and become the go-to gaming app in India.

Delhi-based vernacular gaming platform WinZO has raised $18 million in a Series B investment round led by global interactive entertainment fund Makers Fund based in Singapore, and New York-based Courtside Ventures. Both funds are making their first-ever investment in India through WinZO.

With the funding, WinZO plans to strengthen its content pipeline, captivate mobile-first consumers and their gaming needs, and become the go-to gaming app in India. The startup claims that its revenue has grown 1,500 percent and acquired 20 million users in the last 12 months, who spend over 45 minutes every day on WinZO’s platform. WinZO said it has achieved this on the back of its network of vernacular micro-influencers and 30-plus partner game developers through which it strives to become the go-to gaming platform for Bharat.

“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.

Kalaari Capital, which first invested in WinZO in 2018 and led the company's Series A in 2019, also participated in the round. WinZO is Kalaari’s second-largest bet in gaming after Dream11. WinZO's co-founders Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore also joined the round.

“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. We are very excited to partner with Makers and Courtside in the next leg of WinZO's journey and bring superior entertainment to the next 200 million gamers,” added Rahul Garg, Principal at Kalaari Capital.

Launched in early 2018, WinZO partners with third-party game studios to host their games on their Android app, creating a Netflix-like experience for users who can enjoy multiplayer formats with their friends or strangers in a localised fashion. The platform is available in 12 languages.

Clocking over one billion micro-transactions per month, WinZO offers 70-plus games across various multiplayer formats. This vernacular social gaming platform focusses on building a community of gamers and game influencers in Tier-II to Tier-V cities of India.

Co-founder Paavan Nanda said,

“With the Series B funding, we are thrilled and humbled to welcome like-minded business partners into our WinZO family. 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!"
Edited by Suman Singh