startup funding

Vernacular E-Sports platform WinZO Raises $5 Mn from Kalaari, Hike, Others

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WinZO, India’s largest vernacular e-sports platform, raised $5MN in Series A early this year. The funding was led by Kalaari Capital and Hike, India’s homegrown tech unicorn.

“WinZO’s team has achieved a strong product market fit and is all set to disrupt the vernacular entertainment space. We led company’s seed round early last year, and are highly impressed with the team’s growth trajectory and strong execution.” added Rahul Garg, Principal – Kalaari Capital.

Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder & CEO, Hike, “Gaming to us has always been a new, bite-sized source of entertainment for the masses. As we unbundle Hike, we think of our investment in WinZO and its stellar team as a strong bet in the segment. WinZO’s deep understanding of the market has enabled them to build a unique product in this space and we’re excited to partner with them in their next phase of growth.”

The funding came within a few days after WinZO announced a $1.5Mn fund to support game developers and acquire content for the platform.


Founded by Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore, WinZO is a vernacular esports gaming platform that is competitive, inclusive, and for everyone. The games on the platform provide bite-sized action in multiplayer or player vs player format, taking esports and social gaming experience to the vernacular Bharat. WinZO is a series A funded venture and is Kalaari’s second biggest bet in the gaming category after Dream11.

Since its inception, WinZO has gone on to have more than 7 Million registered users across Tier 2/3/4/5 cities. Average Users are currently spending more than 55 minutes inside the app every day. With strong signs of stickiness, the top 20% of the users are already spending 60% of their smartphone usage time on the platform. WinZO currently accounts for 38% of their monthly entertainment budget, popular games on the platform include Carrom, Cricket, Pocket Tank, Fruit Samurai, etc.

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“WinZO’s social multi-player skill gaming platform is a one stop entertainment destination for Bharat. We have been receiving phenomenal traction, and are very excited to emerge as India’s most loved household brand for the next 100MM users.” said Paavan Nanda, Co-Founder, WinZO

WinZO is India’s largest e-sports vernacular gaming platform with monetary benefits and is available in 10 languages. It gives users an opportunity to win real money for playing and winning these Games of Skill. The platform offers nearly 30+ games across multiple formats viz Tournament, Versus Mode and Table Format. On a single platform users, can play all popular games such as Carrom, Cricket, 8 Ball Pool, Sniper 3D, Bubble Shooter, Fruit Samurai, Knife Up, Fantasy League, and Trivia based questions. These games are acquired from developers and studios from across the world. WinZO is designed to solve for a stable monetization in the Indian Gaming ecosystem, which experiences one of the highest engagements globally with 300MM internet users spending 45 minutes daily playing games on their smartphones.

Paavan is a graduate from IIM Calcutta and was a Co-Founder of ZO Rooms/ Zostel. While Saumya did her Masters in Consumer Psychology, had led Growth for the Television Business of the Times Group and ZO Rooms earlier.

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