[Funding Alert] WinZO Announces Second Game Developer Fund Worth $5 Mn The startup's mission is to on-board over 500 new games and bring entertainment for its mobile-first users

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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New Delhi-based social gaming platform WinZO on Friday announced a $5-million fund to uplift the Indian game developer ecosystem. This development comes close to the startup announcing its Series B funding of $18 million led by global interactive entertainment fund Makers Fund with Courtside Venture, and Steve Pagliuca of Bain Capital.

Launched in 2018, the platform currently offers its users over 70 skill-based games on its android app in 12 regional languages. The company received over 250 applications for the previous fund, of which it has already on-boarded over 10 games. These games across genres include casual games, board games, battle royales, and arcade games, among many more.

"We feel excited to announce the launch of Game Developer Fund II. Through this initiative, we are committed to uplift the Indian gaming ecosystem which is at the cusp of disruption. There is infinite talent and creativity and we would like to offer everything else that is required for a team to create a dent in this space and create gaming products for the entertainment-starved Bharat," said WinZO Games co-founder Paavan Nanda, while announcing the fund, in a statement.

"We are not just focusing on gaming projects but also equally keen to evaluate game ops, streaming, esports, etc related proposals. We also ensure a sustainable revenue stream by providing a ready-made market for the selected projects by introducing them to our 25 million-plus registered user base."

The company had earlier announced its first fund of $1.5 million in July 2019. Given the way, Indian gaming engagement has gone through the roof on the back of COVID-19 and the ban of Chinese apps such as PUBG, Tiktok. The company has increased its allocation amount to $5 million in order to have a strong impact on boosting the Indian gaming ecosystem. This move is in line with Prime Minister's AtmanirBharta mission where in the company is scouting to fund projects in interactive entertainment space. Its applications are open till 31 December 2020, said the press release.

"We had multiple games that were not doing so well on playstore and other stores in terms of revenue generation. However, after the partnership and integration of those games on WinZO, we have received huge traction from the same games, thanks to the specialization of WinZO in promotion and marketing. Algorithms to push the content to the relevant audience helped drive the engagement further. We have seen ten-times more returns than any other source and we do not need to worry about the monetization and distribution at all. Our sole focus is to build high-quality games," added Bhoos Entertainment chief executive officer Ranjan Shrestha.

Clocking over 1 billion micro-transactions per month, the startup offers over 70 games across various multiplayer formats. The gaming platform focuses on building a community of gamers and game influencers in tier 2 to tier 5 cities across the country.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

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