[Funding alert] Game streaming startup Rooter raises $25M in Series A round

The startup told YourStory that its ARR for the current financial year stood at around $2.5 million.

Games and e-sports streaming platform Rooter has raised $25 million in its Series A funding round led by Lightbox, March Gaming, and Duane Park, as well as existing investors such as leAD Sports and Health Tech Partners.

9Unicorns, ADvantage Sports Tech Fund, Capital-A, and Goal Ventures also participated in the round, Rooter said.

The startup was able to facilitate a secondary shares sale for a few of its investors via the funding round, as well as chart an exit route for a few employees through ESOP buyback. It expects to use the fresh funds to double its team size by hiring for various roles in Delhi.

Rooter told YourStory that it hopes to scale its ARR (Accounting Rate of Return) to $12-15 million by the end of 2022, from its current ARR of $2.5 million. The startup is hoping to make these gains riding on the substantial growth that the gaming industry has seen over the last two years, and is expected to scale to nearly 700 million gamers in the next two-to-three years.

Rooter's founders, Piyush Kumar and Dipesh Agarwal, said that with the online gaming and streaming industry becoming more mobile-first, the startup hopes to see substantial and sustainable growth in the future, even as their user base of school and college students resume attending classes.

Founded in 2016, Rooter started as a social network and online community for sports fans, similar to Fancred and Chat Sports in the US, and FanCode in India.

Between 2016 and 2019, the Delhi-based startup tried and tested multiple products and features, and eventually became a one-stop live sports content destination. Any user could go live during a match, conduct quizzes, live commentary, and share multimedia posts using Rooter's platform.

"The Indian gaming space has evolved from popular arcade games like Tekken and street fighter to competitive games like Battlegrounds Mobile and Freefire on smartphones. The sector is growing faster than most media sub-sectors like home entertainment and audio, among others," Piyush told YourStory.

"We are the only player in the market that has started monetisation to open up all monetising opportunities, including advertising and performance marketing," he added.

Rooter pays gamers who are part of its creator programme anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 25 lakh, a month, for streaming their gameplay on its platform.

Edited by Kanishk Singh