India: Makers Fund, Courtside lead $18m funding in gaming startup WinZo

Photo: Pixabay

Singapore-based Makers Fund and New York-based Courtside Ventures have made their first investment in India by leading an $18-million Series B funding round in vernacular real-money gaming platform WinZO.

Kalaari Capital, which first invested in WinZO in 2018 and led the company’s Series A in 2019, also participated in the round, the startup said in a statement. Revant Bhate, FinAdvantage, Indigo Edge -exclusive advisor to WinZO, and co-founders Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore also joined the round.

With the latest funding, WinZO plans to strengthen its content pipeline, captivate mobile-first consumers and their gaming needs, and become the go-to gaming app in India.

“WinZO is at the heart of India’s gaming evolution, a geography we’ve been tracking for some time. Paavan and Saumya’s success through a hyper-focus on their player ecosystem is evident, and a clear asset as they accelerate their growth,” Michael Cheung, Partner at Makers Fund, said.

Makers Fund is a global interactive entertainment focused venture capital fund, with over 30 investments across North America, Europe, and Asia. Courtside Ventures, on the other hand, is focused on sports, technology, and media, and invests from seed to Series B stages.

“With Series B funding, we are thrilled and humbled to welcome like-minded business partners into our WinZO family. Along with their network, support and fresh financing, we are confident we can propel WinZO even further as a business and become an even more lovable product for our customers. It’s time to put all the learnings and experiences of the past toward building something huge,” Nanda said.

The Indian startup claims that its revenue has grown 1500 per cent and has acquired 20 million users in the last 12 months. The platform also boasts of a network of vernacular micro influencers and 30+ partner game developers.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.