Rooter, a digital platform that connects, engages and helps sports audiences interact with each other on a real-time basis during sports events, has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from Intex, one of India’s fastest growing consumer electronic goods and accessories manufacturer. The sports social engagement app earlier successfully raised funds from Dhruv Chitgopekar and Prantik Dasgupta. It also holds the distinction of being the first venture that Bollywood star, Boman Irani, has invested in as an angel investor.
The freshly infused capital will be utilized to strengthen the tech team at Rooter, all the while maintaining a lean structure. It aims to also add more numbers to its Sales and Marketing team as well as to the content division to bolster the vernacular versions of the app. This round of funding will, in addition, help accelerate the platform’s expansion into South East Asian markets and catalyze partnerships with sports teams and leagues all around the world. Rooter’s ambition to carry out merchandizing activities and possibly fan-player interactions will also get a boost besides allowing it to leverage the superlative tech infrastructure of Intex.
Rooter has been identified as one of the most unique ideas to emerge out of the Indian start-up ecosystem, with no pre-existing business model to follow anywhere in the world. With its user engagement features such as live-match prediction, quizzes, and chat forums becoming extremely popular with users, Rooter’s audience base and the time spent by an average user on the app has increased significantly. With the approaching sports season, Rooter hopes to far exceed the 50000+ downloads it currently sits on, and aims to cross half a million downloads by the end of the IPL. Rooter will benefit from the state-of-the-art technological setup of Intex, access to which can help reduce Rooter’s R&D costs. The ready database of Intex will also be a goldmine for Rooter to find new users.
Commenting on the funding, Piyush, Founder & CEO, Rooter, said, “It gives us immense pleasure to receive funding from Intex, one of the most successful Indian IT devices and accessories manufacturers. Rooter is essentially a tech-based platform and we wanted to have an investor on board who could also be our strategic partner and help us evolve our product to fully realize it’s potential. Intex’s deep understanding of the smartphone world and its popularity in Tier-2 and 3 cities of India will help us to promote and develop Rooter’s unique idea further, optimizing it to perfectly fit the needs of smartphone users everywhere.”
Intex has had a thriving association with sports, and its director, Keshav Bansal, is the youngest franchise owner in the history of IPL. In January this year, Intex also owned the Gujarat Warriors in Super Fight League, foraying into the comparatively unknown world of MMA fighting in India.
Keshav Bansal, Spokesperson Intex, commented on the collaboration by saying, “Rooter has a great fundamental idea, and its recent numbers suggest that its popularity is zooming by the day. As sports are an extremely emotion-driven phenomenon and the sports fan engagement platform is a completely uncharted territory, Rooter has limitless scope for growth. We feel this collaboration will be a perfect synergistic match and will enable sports’ fans to enjoy their favourite games like never before.”
The average time spent by a user on Rooter has gone up from 2-3 minutes in September last year to 13-15 minutes currently. The number of daily active users is also growing at a brisk pace, with Rooter looking to engage more than 20,000 daily active users by the time IPL starts. This increased audience engagement, coupled with a growing list of different kinds of sports being incorporated into the app, has endeared Rooter to its target users and has boosted its attempt to revolutionize the sports viewing experience in India, and the rest of the world.
The deal was enabled by Kwan Entertainment & Marketing Solutions and Uday Ahlawat, Partner at Ahlawat and Associates, was the legal advisor for Rooter.