Turnip, a mobile-first gaming community platform, has raised $12.5 million(Rs 92 crore) in a Series A round of funding co-led by Greenoaks Capital and Elevation Capital.
The round witnessed participation from SEA Capital and Vibe Capital. Several startup founders such that of Razorpay,Meesho, Unacademy, Groww and Udaan also contributed to this transaction. Elevation Capital led the seed round of $1.6 million in the Bengaluru-based startup last year, with participation from Better Capital.
The startup, operated by Turnip Media Pvt Ltd, says it helps creators stream on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and run interactive experiences for their communities and monetise the engagement. It also allows gaming enthusiasts to join communities of their favourite creators.
“Our goal is to build from India for the 2 billion plus gamers spread across the world. Gamers have been early adopters of technologies and this has created some of the most innovative and immersive consumer products globally — Discord, Streamlabs, Unity, Twitch, Axie Infinity, etc,” said Pooja Dubey and Aditya Sharma, co-founders of the firm.
Turnip was founded in April 2020 by the duo, both graduates of IIT Guwahati. This is not their first entrepreneurship stint.
Dubey earlier co-founded online fashion rental platform Blinge. She also worked with venture capital-backed companies Razorpay and CureFit before launching Turnip. Sharma had co-founded GrabonRent and had previously worked at Hewlett-Packard.
“When we met them for the first time, we saw that they had the unique combination of skill and ambition to build a product that’s truly global; which is why we signed our first term sheet with them within 3 days of meeting. The product puts gamers, a large proportion of digital creators today, at the centre and lets them imagine completely new experiences for their community,” said Mayank Khanduja, partner at Elevation Capital
The company claims it has more than 50 lakh users, gained organically. Nearly 45% of the company's users are from outside of India, spanning geographies including Southeast Asia, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, the US, and Europe.
In the broader sports segment, 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 news report by investment banking platform Maple Capital Advisors.
According to a report issued by RedSeer and Lumikai, India is expected to be home to 700 million gamers by 2025.
On Wednesday, Rooter, a game streaming and e-sports platform, has raised $25 million (Rs 185 crore) in a Series A funding round led by Lightbox, March Gaming, and Duane Park Ventures.
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.
In November, Mumbai's Dream Sports raised $840 million at a valuation of $8 billion from large PE players. In March, Dream Sports had also scored $400 million funding from investors including Silicon Valley-based VC firm TCV, which made its first India investment. Fantasy sports platform, Mobile Premier League (MPL) became a unicorn with its Series E funding round at a pre-money valuation of $2.3 billion (Rs 16,935 crore) in September.