WinZO launches Game Developer Fund II; to invest $5M to fund Indian game developers
WinZO, a New Delhi-headquartered e-gaming startup, on Friday launched its Game Developer Fund II worth $5 million (Rs 37.5 crore).
Last year, the social gaming platform had announced its Fund I worth $1.5 million, where it received over 250 applications from large and small game developers. WinZO ended up deploying the capital across nine teams, as well as onboarded more than 10 games to the platform.
WinZO said it is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission, wherein it aims to fund projects in interactive entertainment space built by Indian game developers. Applications for the same will be open till December 31, 2020.
WinZo Co-Founders (L to R) Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh
Paavan Nanda, Co-founder, WinZO Games, said, "We feel excited to announce the launch of Game Developer Fund II. Through this initiative, we are committed to uplift the Indian gaming ecosystem, which is at the cusp of disruption. There are infinite talent and creativity, and we would like to offer everything else that’s required for a team to create a dent in this space and create gaming products for the entertainment-starved Bharat.
“We are not just focusing on gaming projects but also equally keen to evaluate game ops, streaming, e-sports, etc., related proposals. We also ensure a sustainable revenue stream by providing a ready-made market for the selected projects by introducing them to our 25 million+ registered user base."
The startup will use the fund to boost the Indian gaming ecosystem, which saw engagements going through the roof amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent ban on Chinese apps like PUBG, TikTok, etc.
Founded in 2018 by Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore, WinZO provides over 70 skill-based games such as board games, battle royales, and arcade games on its Android app in 12 regional languages. The startup plans to onboard over 500 games for its users.
Ranjan Shrestha of Bhoos Entertainment, who runs a four-membered game studio, and was one of the beneficiaries of WinZO’s developer funds, said, “We had multiple games that were not doing so well on Google Play Store and other stores in terms of revenue generation. However, after the partnership and integration of those games on WinZO, we have received huge traction from the same games, thanks to the specialisation of WinZO in promotion and marketing.
“Algorithms to push the content to the relevant audience helped drive the engagement further. We have seen 10x more returns than any other sources, and we do not need to worry about the monetisation and distribution at all. Our sole focus is to build high-quality games.”