WinZO has given a complete exit to its early investor Hike with fourfold returns on its investment in May 2019. This comes after the Series B funded gaming start-up raised additional $13 million capital from its existing investors- Stephan Pagliuca, Makers Fund, and Courtside Venture. It is noteworthy that these investors had led the $18 Million Series B fundraise for WinZO in September 2020, taking the total fundraising tally for the three-year-old startup to $38MM.
This exit transaction, which has received a nod from the Ministry of corporate affairs (MCA), saw WinZO buyback Hike’s share for $12 million, making it one of the largest buyback transactions by an early stage start-up in the Indian start-up ecosystem. Hike had earlier participated in the $5 Million Series-A funding in WinZO back in 2019 and has received 4X returns within a span of 18 months.
Earlier this year, Hike had announced shutting down its primary messaging business and launched a conflicting gaming app Rush, similar to WinZO. Post Series B in September 2020, WinZO had reportedly waived off the non-compete for Hike alongside withdrawing access to the board and the Company.
WinZO co-founder Paavan Nanda said, “That’s correct. Hike’s been given a complete exit from WinZO. As founders, we are super chuffed and humbled to have a Board that is extremely bullish, and completely aligned with the audacious goals we have set for ourselves. They had immensely supported the Company through the process.”
Singapore based global interactive entertainment investor Makers Fund, New York based Courtside ventures and Bain Capital co-chair Stephan Pagliuca, co-owner of NBA team Boston Celtics and an early investor in gaming major, Epic Games made their first investment in India last year through WinZO’s $18 million series B fundraise. An additional infusion of $13 million within a short span of just six months from the Series B investors highlights their confidence and faith in the founders’ vision for the company and the strength of the business.