In yet another stroke of good news for the Indian start-up ecosystem (which has flourished in 2021), gaming and entertainment platform WinZO has raised $65 million in a Series C funding round led by California-based venture capital firm Griffin Gaming Partners. The firm has raised $90 million to date, including the $18 million it raised earlier from existing investors Makers Fund, Courtside Ventures, and Bain Capital’s co-chairman Steve Pagliuca.
This also marks Griffin’s first-ever investment in India. As part of the transaction, Phil Sanderson, Co-Founder of Griffin Gaming Partners, will join the three-year-old WinZO’s board of directors.
“We are excited to make Griffin Gaming Partners’ first investment in India backing WinZO, the company behind the largest social gaming app in the country,” said Nick Tuosto, co-founder, of Griffin Gaming Partners and managing director and head of Gaming at LionTree. “The company is led by best-in-class management with an extraordinary product vision. We saw in WinZO’s games incredible retention and monetization metrics we believe set the company up for continued explosive growth and are proud to support the team on the journey.”
The start-up plans to use the proceeds from the round to expand and grow to become “an even more lovable product” for its consumers, as it is poised and strategically well-positioned to be one of the first ‘Made in India’ products that will rule the world in coming years. It aims to create a culturally relevant mobile games platform with broad-based adoption. Currently operating in 12 languages (including English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri), it aims to be at the forefront of Indian gaming with an influencer network catering to more than 50 million registered users.
According to Paavan Nanda, co-founder, WinZO, Griffin’s incredible experience and insights across the global media & entertainment landscape would be valuable as WinZO continued to disrupt the Indian gaming ecosystem.
The company partners with third-party developers to host games on their Android app and facilitates over 2.5 billion micro-transactions per month across a portfolio of over 70 games. According to the start-up it has partnered with over 100 leading game developers to realize the full potential of the Indian mobile gaming market through in-game integration of WinZO’s social gaming framework. Its revenue has grown ten times over the last 12 months.
“WinZO’s growth is a testament to the value the company is unlocking in the Indian market,” said Michael Cheung, General Partner, Makers Fund. “We are excited to continue to support WinZO and their leadership team who combine expertise and unique local insights with a strong vision to grow the Indian games and entertainment sector.”