[Funding Alert] Paytm, Others Back Sports Community Platform Rooter In $1.7 Mln Round

The fresh funds will be used to grow the company's user base over the next year and further capitalize on its upcoming e-sports and gaming content.

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Rooter, a sports community platform, has raised $1.7 million in a pre-Series A round led by Paytm, Adidas family-backed leAD Sports, Rockstud Capital, and Founder Bank Capital. Others who participated in the financing round include Anthill Ventures, Venture Catalysts,  and some angel investors.

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Founded by Piyush and Dipesh Agarwal in 2016, the platform was largely built around live sports gaming before pivoting to content last year. It now has sports content developed by users and professions, and claims to have a user base of over eight million.

“We started Rooter with the objective of creating a sports fan community and we are glad our pivot to content has found a strong product-market fit," said co-founder and chief executive officer Piyush, in a statement.

The fresh funds will be used to grow the company's user base over the next year and further capitalize on its upcoming e-sports and gaming content.

New Delhi-headquartered Rooter said that its new content strategy will also allow it to launch user monetization channels, adding to the existing advertising monetization, and that the gifting economy was working well for many content-based startups in the country.

Collaboration with Paytm

Apart from the investment, the company said it is also entering into a strategic partnership with Paytm First Games, to grow the cricket, fantasy sports, e-sports and gaming ecosystem.

"We continue to grow our content offerings through gaming and the addition of Rooter's communities and user-generated content will further enhance the use cases available on our platform. In the coming months, we will add more interactive content," said Sudhansu Gupta, chief operating officer at Paytm First Games.

The funding for Rooter comes at a time when all major sporting events have been cancelled owing to the Coronavirus outbreak. Lockdowns across the world have, however, brought cheer to the e-sports and gaming industries, which have seen a massive spike in engagement.

Debroop Roy

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Entrepreneur Staff

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore for Entrepreneur. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.