WinZO, a vernacular social interactive gaming platform, on Monday announced the third edition of its Game Developer Fund (GDF) with the largest ever corpus of USD 20 million (about Rs 147.2 crore). The development comes six months after the gaming startup raised series C funding of USD 65 million from Griffin Gaming Partners and others.
The company had announced its first fund of USD 1.5 million in July 2019, followed by Fund II of USD 5 million in November last year. It received over 500 applications, of which around 70 games were selected. WinZO made investments in the range of USD 100,000-USD 500,000 in each of the partnership varying from concept stage to near completion stage in the product life cycle, a statement said.
The games cover diverse genres from casual, action, sports to mid-core multiplayer games such as tennis, golf etc. Each game is customised to support diverse audience segments in more than 12 regional languages and localised with culturally relevant online games for ‘Bharat’. WinZO is looking to invest across all forms of interactive entertainment – games, economies around gaming, content creation, live-ops, and security, the statement said.
The company aims to collaborate with the companies working in these areas through capital investment, infrastructural support and monetisation support, it added. WinZO partners with gaming studios and game developers globally to offer these games across multiple multiplayer formats. It generates revenue for the developers through a microtransaction-based monetisation model as against the alternative means of in-app purchases and advertisements.
“For a larger part, gaming is considered as a hit or a miss opportunity among investors as unlike other industries such as e-commerce, SaaS and D2C, there is no stipulated playbook for creation of a successful Game. As a result of this, a lot of gaming ideas/teams do not get requisite support in form of capital, guidance or strategic help from the ecosystem,” WinZO Games co-founder Paavan Nanda said. WinZO is trying to change that because it believes that after ages, India is on the forefront of an opportunity where it can lead the world, Nanda added.
“Over the next decade, it will not just be a high potential market but will also be yielding multiple unicorns & some emerging gaming companies at a global scale. India has overtaken US, China in terms of the number of games being downloaded in the geography on an annual basis,” Nanda said. GDF-III is another step towards achieving this, Nanda added. WinZO is also setting-up an internal team to evaluate and deploy this capital which will be directly working with the founders, the statement said.