Hike exits gaming platform WinZO after launching copycat app
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Vernacular social gaming platform WinZO bought back shares from messaging platform Hike for $12 million (Rs 88.9 crore), marking the exit of its early investor.   

The move comes after Hike shut down its primary messaging business earlier this year and launched a similar gaming app Rush, WinZO said, after which it waived off the non-compete agreement with Hike.  

“Post Series B in September, WinZO had reportedly waived off the non-compete for Hike alongside withdrawing access to the board and the company,” WinZO said in a statement. 

“As founders, we are super chuffed and humbled to have a board that is extremely bullish, and completely aligned with the audacious goals we have set for ourselves,” Paavan Nanda, co-founder of WinZO, said. 

Hike had participated in a $5 million Series A funding in 2019.

Days before, New Delhi-based startup WinZO raised $13 million from existing investors Stephan Pagliuca, Makers Fund, and Courtside Venture. These investors also led the company’s $18 million Series B fundraise in September last year, taking the total fundraise to $38 million, WinZO said.  

WinZO, which is operated by The TickTock Skill Games Pvt Ltd, 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. 

WinZO was co-founded by Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore. Nanda, who is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, was also a co-founder of budget hotel room aggregator ZO Rooms. Rathore is an alumnus of University of Manchester, and has worked with companies including ZO Rooms and the Times Network. 

Recently, fantasy gaming platform Mobile Premier League acquired Delhi-based GamingMonk and launched Esports Arena last month.

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