All the sporting activities in the world have come to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic. This has resulted in sporting boards and several sporting platforms taking a serious financial hit. However, Indian sports community platform Rooter has still managed to raise $1.7 million (approximately ₹12.8 crore) in a recent pre-series A round.
According to VCCircle, the key investors in the Delhi-based startup Rooter were digital payments firm Paytm and also included the Adidas-backed fund leAD Sports, Rockstud Capital, and Founder Bank Capital, an early stage arm of RB Investments. Rooter's existing investors, including Anthill Ventures, Venture Catalysts and other angel investors were also a part of the round.
Rooter aims at growing its user base over the next one year and capitalising on the company’s upcoming eSports and gaming content and communities and these funds will be utilized for the same. Rooter is also set to launch user monetisation channels, in addition to current advertising monetisation, with gifting economy working very well for many content-based startups in the country. Rooter is also going to enter into a strategic partnership with Paytm First Games.
With the new funding, where both the companies will come together to grow cricket, esports, fantasy sports and gaming ecosystem by creating integration across gaming and content. This could make Rooter a direct competitor with the likes of Dream11, which has a virtual monopoly in the online fantasy gaming market in India. Paytm is the principal sponsor of all international and domestic cricket matches in India and this move could catapult them to venture in other sports as well.
Paytm First Games chief operating officer Sudhanshu Gupta said that the company was confident of its investment in Rooter because of its user community and the potential of the integration with Paytm’s own offerings. Rooter Sports Technologies Pvt. Ltd was set up by Piyush and Dipesh Agarwal in 2016. The company engages enthusiasts with user-generated live audio and video content in at least ten Indian languages across several sports.
Paytm co-founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma also confirmed the development in a tweet -
Very happy to be part of @writetopiyush ‘s journey in making @RooterSports destination of new age sports updates ! 👏🏼👏🏼— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) May 4, 2020
Guess what the I discovered him and the company , all because of Twitter 😄👌🏼 https://t.co/8pKSM9cRXP