To say that the startup sector in India has grown by leaps and bounds would be an understatement, and with 2022 only a few days away, it remains to be seen whether the startup ecosystem will reach similar heights next year. Indian startups have gobbled up billions in funding this year (thereby accelerating their expansion and even evolution into unicorns), and EsportsXO became the latest name to rein in funds this year.
The one-year-old SaaS-based tournament discovery platform raised $1.1 million in a seed round led by We Founder Circle, a founder-backing-founder-based early-stage startup investor, and Wami Capital. The round also included participation from investors including SOSV, Mumbai Angels Network, SucSEED Indovation Fund, The Gaming Lounge, and FAAD Network.
The proceeds from the seed round will be utilized towards making investments into tech and non-tech talent acquisition (40% of the amount raised), while the remaining 60% will mostly be utilized towards aggressive marketing and operations.
Gaming is a sector that needs no introduction (it clocked a spectacular growth during the pandemic as people were confined to their homes). The e-sports vertical has had a similar rise, although it is yet to reach the lofty heights reached by online gaming during the past year. The e-sports sector is growing at a steady rate (we may also see it on the big screens soon) and its market size in India is expected to reach ₹11 billion by FY 2025 and generate an economic value of around ₹100 billion between FY 2021 and FY 2025.
Thus, it is hardly surprising that e-sports startups are emerging and investors have eyed the sector as a golden opportunity. The Bengaluru-based EsportsXO, started by Vikas Goel, Utsav Umang, and Rohit Raj, has tasted some of the success the e-sports and gaming sectors have experienced – its platform registered over 150, 000 users in 90 days and clocked a month-on-month growth of 20%. In fact, it organized over 250 tournaments in 8 popular games, and over 2 million people participated in the last year.
What does EsportsXO do? It offers software to manage tournaments online, enabling game publishers and brands to launch custom tournaments for users. It was launched with a vision to build a community of console, PC, and mobile gamers across the world, who can come together under a single roof, and has gaming content creators whose followings and viewership number in the millions.
“Esports in India is at the same stage where e-Commerce was 15 years ago, there are a lot of opportunities for everyone. The market in India and the rest of the APAC region is very huge which gives us enough room for creativity and growth”, said Vikas Goel, co-founder, EsportsXO.