[Funding alert] Gaming community startup Turnip raises $12.5M co-led by Greenoaks and Elevation Capital

The capital will be utilised for strategic hiring and for scaling its presence across key geographies.
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Turnip, a mobile-first gaming community platform, announced on Thursday that it has raised $12.5 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Greenoaks and Elevation Capital

The round also saw participation from SEA Capital, Vibe Capital, and leading founders and angels, including Andrew Chen (Partner, a16z); Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar (Razorpay); Akshay Kothari (Notion), Geige Vandentop (Streamyard); Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal (Meesho); Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini (Unacademy); Lalit Keshre, Ishan Bansal, and Harsh Jain (Groww); Kalyan Krishnamurthy (Flipkart); and Sujeet Kumar (Udaan). Elevation Capital led the seed round of $1.6 million in the Bengaluru-based startup last year, with participation from Better Capital. 

Turnip was founded in April 2020 by IIT-Guwahati alumni Pooja Dubey and Aditya Sharma. Pooja and Aditya, both avid gamers, felt that the current gaming community experience has remained primitive, with interactions limited to simple chatting on live streams or receiving shoutouts from creators.  

Turnip is reimagining the future of gaming interaction by helping creators build communities that turn game streaming into a highly interactive, social, and engaging activity. The platform allows creators to form clubs, where they can stream or record their games for fans, talk on audio/video, text each other, run e-sports tournaments, and host masterclasses. The platform supports a diversity of creators, including live streamers, montage creators, esports organisations, college clubs, and groups of friends. Turnip also allows its users to stream and monetize their interactive experiences on existing platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. 

Pooja Dubey and Aditya Sharma in a joint statement, said,

“Our goal is to build from India for the 2 billion+ gamers spread across the world. Gamers have been early adopters of technologies and this has created some of the most innovative and immersive consumer products globally — Discord, Streamlabs, Unity, Twitch, Axie Infinity, etc. We want to continue on this same legacy and become the global default home for mobile gaming communities.”

The company claims to have witnessed phenomenal growth in the past year, growing its user base from 250,000 users in November 2020 to more than 5 million users in 2021 — over 60 percent of this growth has been organic. True to its mission, Turnip has made game streaming a deeply interactive and engaging experience with users collectively spending more than a billion minutes on the platform in 2021. This growth has been driven by a lean team, including former employees of Flipkart, Swiggy, Razorpay, Walmart, and Hotstar, who bring capabilities in technology, product, and design to Turnip.

Though Turnip began with India, it is quickly becoming a global consumer product. Already, 45 percent of the company's five million users are from outside of India, spanning geographies including Southeast Asia, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, the US, and Europe. By 2025, the world is projected to have more than 2 billion gamers and team Turnip is positioned to disrupt this space by helping create communities that strengthen the relationship between gaming creators and their fans.

“Turnip is building a platform that transforms passive viewers into an actively engaged community, delighting fans while enabling new options for creators, from subscriptions, to events, to sponsorships, and more. By nailing the mobile experience, we believe Turnip has democratised access for users across the world, letting anyone be a creator or a fan, no matter their device or hardware,” said Neil Shah, Partner at Greenoaks.

Given its global ambitions, the company will use the fresh funds to scale its presence across geographies as it aims to become the top gaming community platform in India, SEA, and LATAM by the end of 2022. It will also continue to strengthen its talented team and onboard the best tech, design, and growth leaders worldwide.  

Mayank Khanduja, Partner, Elevation Capital, added, 

“The product puts gamers, a large proportion of digital creators today, at the centre and lets them imagine completely new experiences for their community. Turnip’s spectacular growth and global reach in the past year further cements our belief in their vision and we are thrilled to reaffirm our partnership in this latest funding round.”
Edited by Megha Reddy

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