[Funding alert] Zupee raises $72M; announces partnership with Reliance Jio

The startup said the funding will be utilised for developing new products, enhancing immersive design experiences, expanding into new geographies, ramping up marketing, reach, penetration, research and innovation, and hiring top talent.
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Skill-based casual gaming startup Zupee has raised $72 million in Series B funding round. In August 2021, it had raised $30 million, taking the total Series B round funding to $102 million.

The company has also partnered with Jio Platforms Limited. With this partnership, Zupee games said it will be able to distribute its content to Jio customers, and it will also be made available to Jio Phone customers.

“Jio is the perfect partner for this journey as we look to penetrate the remotest areas of India all the way to the most disadvantaged people to bring them into the fold. This resonates firmly with our idea of the internet of the future, which would be open, permission less, decentralised, and limitless,” said Dilsher Singh, Founder & CEO, Zupee. 

The partnership with Jio will also facilitate faster and efficient development and distribution of product and services to benefit Zupee's existing and new customer base. It would also provide Zupee the biggest reach to nearly 450 million Jio users. 

“As a home-grown startup, we want to put Indian products and games on all those devices that can take the India story to the world. We will do this while continuing to make games that entertain and put smiles on the faces of millions of people around the world,” he added.

The Series B round saw participation from marquee investors such as WestCap Group, Tomales Bay Capital, Nepean Capital, AJ Capital, Matrix Partners India, and Orios Venture Partners. This takes the total funds raised by Zupee to $121 million at a $600 million valuation.

The startup said the funds raised will be utilised for developing new products, enhancing immersive design experiences, expanding into new geographies, ramping up marketing, reach, penetration, research and innovation, and hiring top talent. 

Previous investors include the Smile Group who partnered as a venture builder with the startup.

Founded in 2018 by IIT Kanpur graduates Dilsher Singh and Siddhant Saurabh, the startup was incubated with funding from Smile Group. 

Zupee has over 70 million downloads in India and the new capital raised will be used to help increase the startups' reach. 

The startup also aims to use the partnership to roll out more quality games in multiple languages to have reach beyond metros with the ambition of making Zupee the biggest gaming platform in India connecting India with Bharat. 

Zupee is also looking to capture the 5G handset market with this partnership with Jio. The market is estimated to sell over 150 million 5G handsets before the commercial launch of 5G in India. 

“The timing for this partnership could not be better as we are going to be focussing on innovations in Edge Computing, Decentralised Data Networks, and Artificial Intelligence creating a truly global platform with the best that India has to offer,” said Dilsher. 

Edited by Megha Reddy

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