Hike has exited vernacular social gaming platform WinZO after the company made four-fold returns on their 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. Together, the investors raised $18 mMillion Series B funds for WinZO in September 2020, taking the total fund raise tally for the three-year-old startup to $38 million. “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,” Paavan Nanda, co-founder, WinZO, said.
This exit transaction, which has received a nod from the Ministry of corporate affairs (MCA), saw WinZO buy back Hike’s share for $12 million, making it one of the largest buy back 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. 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 Sep’20, WinZO had reportedly waived off the non-compete for Hike alongside withdrawing access to the board and the company.
Singapore based global interactive entertainment investor Makers Fund, New York based Courtside ventures and Stephan Pagliuca who is the co-chair of Bain Capital, 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 fund raise. 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.
WinZO saw an unprecedented growth over the last one year during the ongoing covid pandemic. It is widely regarded for its innovative models to empower its stakeholders through democratising entrepreneurship among the game developers, content creators and content translators.