California-based Griffin Gaming makes debut bet in India by leading WinZO funding
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

WinZO on Friday said it has raised $65 million (Rs 483.4 crore) as part of its Series C funding round, less than two months after messaging platform Hike exited the vernacular social gaming platform. 

The Series C round was led by California-based Griffin Gaming Partners, said WinZO in a statement. This is Griffin's debut investment in India. 

Paavan Nanda, co-founder of WinZO, said that with the latest fundraise the company plans to grow much faster. 

"WinZO is poised and strategically well positioned to be one of the first 'Made in India' products that will rule the world in coming years," he added. 

WinZO, which is operated by The TickTock Skill Games Pvt Ltd, was co-founded by Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore. The company allows its users to play games for real-world monetary benefits.  

The platform currently offers games such as carrom, cricket, 8 Ball Pool, Fantasy Leagues and Trivia in 12 languages. In the past one year, revenues have grown over ten-fold, it claims. 

"We saw in WinZO’s games incredible retention and monetisation metrics," said Nick Tuosto, co-founder of Griffin Gaming Partners, and managing director and head of gaming at LionTree.  

The Series C funding for WinZO comes after it bought back shares from Hike for $12 million (Rs 88.9 crore), marking the exit of its early investor. Hike had shut down its primary messaging business earlier this year and launched a similar gaming app Rush. 

Prior to this funding, WinZO had raised its Series B round in September last year from returning investors Makers Fund, Courtside Ventures, and Steve Pagliuca, co-chairman of Bain Capital. Hike had participated in a $5 million Series A funding round in 2019. 

The gaming segment has been attracting a slew of investors in the past few years. 

Just earlier this week, PUBG developer Krafton led a $9 million (about Rs 66.8 crore) seed round in Mumbai-based game streaming platform Loco. 

In March, Dream Sports, the Mumbai based company that owns fantasy gaming platform Dream11, scored a $400 million secondary investment from a slew of investors. The deal marked the first ever India investment for Silicon Valley based venture capital firm TCV.   

In February, Sequoia Capital backed fantasy gaming and esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) raised $95 million (about Rs 695 crore) in a Series D round of fundraising. Two months later, it acquired Delhi-based GamingMonk.

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