Rooter raises $25 million from Lightbox, Duane Park Ventures, and March Gaming

The game streaming app has been used for an average of 35 minutes by users.

The game streaming and e-sports platform, Rooter, has raised $25 million (Rs 185 crore) in a Series A round led by Lightbox, Duane Park Ventures and March Gaming.

Apart from IeAD Sports & Health Tech Partners, 9Unicorns, ADvantage, Capital-A, and Goal Ventures also invested in the round.

Piyush Kumar, founder and chief executive of Rooter, said, “We will use the capital in three areas: increasing user growth, creating a robust content creator ecosystem, and building a marketplace.”

He added, “We aim to emerge as the dominant player in India’s creator economy by building a base of the next 500,000 professional game streamers.”

Rooter, founded by Piyush Kumar and Dipesh Agarwal, has emerged as the dominant player in the Indian gaming market. The esports platform has approximately 8.5 million monthly active users and over 30 million downloads. Since October 2020, Rooter has been the No. 1 app in the ‘sports’ category on the Google Play Store.

Through its streamers and e-sports tournaments, the company expansively covers games such as BGMI, Valorant, Call of Duty and Free Fire. Every month, approximately one million exclusive users produce gaming content on the Rooter platform.

According to a RedSeer and Lumikai report, India is expected to have 700 million gamers by 2025.

Sid Talwar, a partner at Lightbox, said, “Gaming is the future of social media for the next generation. 92% of Gen Z and millennials play games. And these ‘gamers’ are more engaged, more invested and far more eager to contribute to gaming platforms than any traditional social media user today.”

The game streaming app has been used for an average of 35 minutes by users. Approximately 3% of monthly users spend about Rs 12 per month on the app.

While dedicated gaming streaming platforms such as Twitch TV, Hitbox, Smashcast, and Beam are available globally, many players prefer Facebook and YouTube.

YouTube is one of the most popular game streaming platforms in India, and a few startups, including Rheo TV and Loco, have emerged in the last three years, in addition to Rooter. According to experts, gaming will be one of the fastest-growing entertainment segments in India, driven by the country’s young population.

Salil Bhargava, director at Duane Park, commented, “We have closely followed the gaming business in India for several years. We believe the game streaming business in India will see explosive growth.”

The Delhi based startup also raised $1.7 million (approximately Rs 12.8 crore) in a pre-series round which took place in May 2020. The group consists of new and existing investors, including Paytm, Venture Catalysts, Founder Bank Capital, Adidas Family-backed fund leAD Sports, Anthill Ventures, Rockstud Capital and other angel investors.

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