The New Delhi-based Ticktok Skill Games, which runs the vernacular esports platform WinZO, has raised $5 million (Rs 34.5 crore at the current exchange rate) in a Series A round, led by Kalaari Capital and chat app platform Hike India.
Kalaari had earlier invested an undisclosed amount in the company early last year.
The platform has developed over 30 games in multiple formats including tournament, versus mode and table format. It has multiple games like carrom, cricket, 8-ball pool, sniper 3D, bubble shooter, fantasy league and Trivia-based questions.
WinZO charges users an upfront fee to play a game, and the prize pool is given to the winner. The company charges a commission on each of the games played. The gaming platform claims to have seven million users across 10 languages that allow users to win real money.
The company was founded in 2018 by Paavan Nanda, Saumya Singh Rathore and Chanchal Kurele.
“Gaming to us has always been a new, bite-sized source of entertainment for the masses,” Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder of Hike, said. “As we unbundle Hike, we think of our investment in WinZO and its stellar team as a strong bet in the segment. WinZO’s deep understanding of the market has enabled them to build a unique product in this space and we’re excited to partner with them in their next phase of growth.”
Nanda had told TechCircle earlier that close to 75% installs of the game were driven through organic channels, and the company had tapped into the micro-influencer marketing channel to popularise the game in tier-2 cities.
The company was also exploring pre-loading games on mobile handsets. “Only 10% of our users are in tier-1 cities, 80% are male and 60% of them are in the age group of 18-24 years,” Nanda said. Daily average time spent on the game was 35 minutes, he added.
“WinZO’s team has achieved a strong product-market fit and is all set to disrupt the vernacular entertainment space,” Rahul Garg, principal at Kalaari Capital, said. “We led the company’s seed round early last year, and are highly impressed with the team’s growth trajectory and strong execution.”
Other deals in the space
- In July, mobile games developer Nazaara Technologies consolidated its position by investing $5.21 million in sports content platform Sportskeeda and $1.02 million in digital sports trivia and quiz platform Qunami.
- In April, fantasy cricket platform Dream 11 became the first gaming unicorn, backed by Steadview Capital. Kalaari Capital, which was an early investor in the platform, sold part of its shares to Steadview.
- In April, digital gaming startup Mobile Premier League raised $35.5 million (Rs 250 crore then) from Sequoia India and GoVentures, the venture capital arm of Indonesian ride-hailing app Go-Jek.