Delhi-based live sports engagement platform Rooter has raised a pre-Series A round of $1.7 million. The key investors in this round include Paytm, leAD Sports — Adidas Family-backed fund, Rockstud Capital, and Founder Bank Capital — an early-stage arm of RB Investments, the company said in a statement.
Anthill Ventures, Venture Catalysts, and a few more current angel investors also participated in the round.
The fresh round of funding will be used by Rooter to grow its user base over the next one year, capitalising on the company’s upcoming esports, gaming content, and communities. The new content strategy will also allow Rooter 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, the startup added.
Rooter also announced that it is entering into a strategic partnership with Paytm First Games where both companies will collaborate to grow the Cricket, Fantasy Sports, Esports, and Gaming ecosystem by creating integration across gaming and content.
Sudhanshu Gupta, COO, Paytm First Games, said,
“We continue to grow our content offerings through gaming and the addition of Rooter’s communities and user-generated content will further enhance the use cases available on our platform. In the coming months, we will add more interactive content around Fantasy sports, Esports, and games while bringing benefits of the Paytm ecosystem to Rooter.”
Founded by Piyush and Dipesh Agarwal in 2016, Rooter’s core objective is to connect fans with each other. The platform was built around live sports gaming during its early days before it pivoted to content in 2019. Today, it comprises sports content developed by users and professionals with a user base of more than eight million.
Rooter is also the only Indian sports startup to ever get selected by leAD Sports Accelerator among more than 220 companies that applied from India so far. The brand completed the programme in 2018 and later secured its first funding from leAD in 2019. Rooter claims to have raised over a million dollars in funding so far through Venture Catalysts, Bollywood actor Boman Irani, Anthill ventures, and other marquee investors.
Piyush, Founder and CEO of Rooter, said,
“Our engagement metrics and user growth have been excellent in the last two quarters. We are excited to onboard Paytm, who, aside from their investment, will also integrate Rooter into Paytm and Paytm First Games while we will work with them to be the biggest source of user content in sports and gaming. We also welcome Rockstud Capital and Founder Bank Capital as investors in Rooter.”
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