Vernacular gaming platform Winzo Games on Friday announced that it has raised $2 Mn fresh investment from American PE investor and Bain Capital’s co-chairman Stephan Pagliuca. However, according to official statement issued by Winzo, Pagliuca has invested through his office Pags group. The statement probably implies that Bain Capital has no role in this investment.
Pagliuca’s $2 Mn investment is a mix of primary and secondary investment. Out of $2 Mn investment, Winzo has used $1 Mn investment for conducting ESOP buyback of early investors and employees, as per the statement issued by the company.
This is Pagliuca’s first ever investment in India. He also reportedly happens to be one of the investors in American gaming giant Epic Games. Epic Games was recently in news for its ongoing lawsuit against Google and Apple.
The latest capital infusion is probably part of the ongoing series B round that was announced last month. Last month, the New Delhi based startup had announced that it has raised $18 Mn in the series B round. The round was led by Singapore based Makers Fund and Courtside Ventures. Existing investors Kalaari Capital and Bellerive Capital also participated in this round.
Commenting on Pagliuca’s investment, Saumya Singh Rathore, Co-Founder, WinZO said “We are thrilled to be backed by Steve, an investor of high repute in our growth journey. The kind of confidence exhibited by industry experts from across the globe is a testament to the scalable, sustainable and robust business we have built in a very short span of time.”
“It’s soul satisfying to be able to generate value through ESOP buyout for our early employees too. This is just the beginning of an exciting journey towards solving social entertainment for Bharat,” he added.
Techpluto contacted Kalaari Capital’s MD Vani Kola to know her opinion about Stephan Pagliuca backing up Winzo and the latter’s long term growth prospect.
Vani said “WinZO has garnered a lot of interest from top global gaming investors such as Makers Fund and Courtside Ventures. Steve, who is not only the Co-Chair of Bain Capital but also an investor in Epic Games and Draftkings, investing in WinZO is a testimony to the team’s early execution and growth prospects of the business. His guidance and wealth of network would come in handy as WinZO gains continued prominence in the global gaming landscape.”
On Winzo’s long term growth prospects, Vani added “Since Kalaari’s first investment in WinZO in early 2018, the company has gone ahead building India’s largest vernacular social gaming platform with positive unit economics. The business has grown 10X in the last 12 months, and will continue to provide best in class entertainment to over 200 million users across Bharat in next 2 years.”
Founded in 2018, Winzo Games claims to be India’s largest gaming platform. Most of its customers hail from semi-urban and small towns. The platform is available in 12 different Indian languages and boasts very good market metrics including 25+ million registered users and over 1 billion micro-transactions per month.