Gaming platform Tournafest gets pre-seed funding from India Quotient, OYO execs, others
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Tournafest, a one-stop destination for the gamer community in India, has secured pre-seed funding of Rs 3.05 crore from a clutch of investors, including India Quotient, FirstCheque and other angel investors.  

Investors in this round included Maninder Gulati (Global Chief Strategy Officer at OYO Rooms), Abhinav Sinha (Global Chief Operating Officer & Chief Product Officer at OYO) and other prominent angels, the company said in a statement. 

The Rajasthan-based startup was founded in April 2021 by IIT Roorkee alumni. The founding members and 2021 graduates of IIT Roorkee, Ayush Agarwal and Kaustubh Trivedi, have been supported by Utkarsh Yadav, Arun Jhajharia, and Shubham Bhardwaj to conceptualise and establish Tournafest.  

The team comprises regular gamers with work experience in Esports’ diverse functions, along with marketing, design, and the technical and software segments. 

"Tournafest is exclusively designed for the fast-growing gamer community of India. It aims to provide gamers with the opportunity to compete in tournaments and practice scrims hosted by leading gaming communities in India. The gamers are part of a collaborative community of enthusiasts and can showcase their performance on the platform. At the same time, Tournafest enables organisers to conduct scalable Esports tournaments seamlessly and exhibit their verified progress to the corresponding sponsors,” the company said. 

It highlighted that Esports has gradually emerged as one of the most lucrative industries in recent years, especially post the pandemic. The gaming market in India is anticipated to be valued at $7 billion by 2026, and has made its mark in mainstream sporting tournaments such as the Asian Games. 

For esports to become democratic, the tournaments have to move out of fancy pubs and go into every phone in every lane of the country, like street cricket of the future. Ayush and Kaustubh are gamers by heart, coders by skill, and platform creators by vision. IndiaQuotient backs them to join the leagues of Bharat first platforms like Sharechat, Bharat Agri, and Lokal,” said Anand Lunia, General Partner at IndiaQuotient. 

“During our college days, gaming was not streamlined, and formal tournaments were practically unheard of. Certainly, an opportunity was hidden behind this issue. We want to reinvent how the Esports ecosystem works and move towards creating a collaborative and motivating platform where discoverability and scalability are fundamental. We believe that every gamer's skills should be recognised and respected, and this platform will deliver just that to this growing community,” added Ayush Agarwal and Kaustubh Trivedi, the founders of Tournafest. 

Gaming startups in India have attracted deals worth $1.6 billion in the first nine months of 2021, exceeding the total value of investments in the sector in the last five years, according to a new report by investment banking platform Maple Capital Advisors.

Other gaming startups that have raised funds recently include vernacular social gaming platform WinZO; and Mumbai-based game streaming platform Loco, which raised $9 million (about Rs 66.8 crore) from PUBG developer Krafton.  

Last month, Mumbai's Dream Sports raised $840 million at a valuation of $8 bn  from large private equity (PE)players. In March, Dream Sports had also scored a $400 million funding from investors including Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm TCV, which made its first India investment. 

Fantasy sports platform, Mobile Premier League (MPL) became a unicorn with its Series E funding at a pre-money valuation of $2.3 billion (Rs 16,935 crore) in September.

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