Gaming start-up WinZO announced the fourth edition of its flagship Game Developer Fund with the largest ever corpus of $50 million to support the global gaming ecosystem and expects to invest atleast $10 million of the fund in the US-based start-ups. 

WinZO is looking to invest the fund in start-ups across all forms of interactive entertainment-game developers and publishers, economies around gaming, content creation, live-ops, and security. The games cover diverse genres from casual, action, sports to mid-core multiplayer games such as tennis, golf, more. 

So far, WinZO has invested in start-ups like Web3 gaming firm Upskillz, Web3 gaming community start-up IndiGG, UK-based gaming studio Village Studio, India-based gaming studio Bombay Play, and blockchain-based creator economy and streaming start-up Glip. The investments were ranging from seed to growth stage. With the new fund, WinZO is willing to commit a cheque size of up to $10 million in a start-up. The company is scouting for innovative gaming companies for investments in the Game Developer Conference (GDC), game industry’s premier professional event, in San Francisco. 

Expansion of portfolio companies

“Game development is often perceived as a hit or miss business, however, over the years we have been able to build a strong framework to identify winners. Given our platform play at WinZO where we have access to performance of over 100 games by more than 50 developers across diverse genres, we believe we are well poised to identify signs, mechanics and metrics of an early hit. In addition, being operators ourselves, we tend to create a melting pot for our portfolio companies for them to exchange ideas, do pilots or leverage WinZO’s community and resources. We intend to offer the kind of partnership we would have liked in our early days of building WinZO.” said Paavan Nanda, co-founder, WinZO. 

WinZO also helps its portfolio companies to expand and monetise in India. For instance, WinZO partnered with global gaming companies like Voodoo and Next Wave to launch their games in India and to add over 100 games on its app across categories like card games, board games, fantasy, strategy, arcade, racing, among others.

“In the past, global gaming companies have found it difficult to earn revenues in India. The monetisation issue faced by game developers and studios can be attributed to the replication of conventional game monetisation models in India despite the wide economic and cultural gaps. WinZO’s unique monetisation model and proprietary formats are powered by micro-transactions that range from ₹1-10. This is much favoured by the Indian audience and delivers a 10x revenue uptick than traditional app stores. We click more than 4 billion monthly transactions on our platform. Besides the monetisation engine, the platform has tools to help global companies personalize their game for the Indian audience and offers support in translation in 12 languages and generating local content,” said Nanda.  

WinZO has raised a total of $100 million across multiple rounds from California-based Griffin Gaming Partners, other gaming funds like Maker’s Fund, and Courtside, and India-based VC Kalaari Capital.