Delhi-based Rooter Sports Technologies, which owns and operates sport social gaming platform rooter.io, has raised $1.7 million in a bridge round of funding, dubbed as pre-series A, led by online payments platform Paytm, Adidas Family backed Fund leAD Sports, and venture capital firm Rockstud Capital.
Other participants in the round included Founder Bank Capital, which is a unit of RB Investments, early-stage investment and scaling platform Anthill Ventures, accelerator Venture Catalysts and other angel investors.
The company plans to deploy the fresh funds to grow its user base over the next one year and capitalising on Rooter’s upcoming Esports and gaming content and communities.
Founded in 2016 by Piyush Kumar, Akshat Goel and Dipesh Agarwal, Rooter connects sports fans around the world as well as allows users to predict scores and play live games.
Last year, the company raised Rs 3.5 crore (about $495,337 then) from leAD sports accelerator programme and Rs 1 crore from Anthill Ventures. In 2018, Rooter bagged Rs 4.5 crore from investment firm and incubator Venture Catalysts. Actor Boman Irani invested an undisclosed amount in the platform in 2016.
“We started Rooter with the objective of creating a sports fan community and we are glad our pivot to content has found a strong product-market fit. Our engagement metrics and user growth have been excellent in the last two quarters,” Piyush Kumar, founder and CEO of Rooter, said.
As part of the latest deal, Rooter has also entered into a strategic partnership with Paytm First Games to boost the online gaming ecosystem by creating integration across gaming and content, the statement added.
"In the coming months, we will add more interactive content around Fantasy sports, Esports, and games while bringing benefits of the Paytm ecosystem to Rooter," Sudhanshu Gupta, COO, Paytm First Games said.
Paytm First Games is the digital gaming platform of Gamepind Entertainment, which is a joint venture between AGTech Holdings (Alibaba) and One97 Communications. The gaming app has more than half a million daily active gamers on the platform spending between 32 to 45 minutes playing over 100 games. The app offers free to play casual games across racing, action, and shooting, among others.
Deal-making activity in the online gaming space has been slow in the past few months. Recently, Gurugram-based Indipepper Media, which owns skill-based gaming platform Zupee, raised $8 million in a Series A round led by venture capital firm Matrix Partners India.