Rooter raises USD 16 million (INR 131 crore) to strengthen market dominance
Marking yet another milestone in its stellar journey, Rooter, India’s largest gaming and esports content platform, has raised USD 16 million (INR 131 crore) in a growth round led by Lightbox. The round saw Trifecta Capital, Pivot Ventures, Baldota Family Office, Global Play Media, Denlow Private Trust, Venture Catalysts, and Potential Ventures join Rooter’s captable. The round, which was a combination of debt and equity, also saw existing investors Duane Park Ventures, LeAD Sports & Health Tech Partners, ADvantage VC, Goal Ventures, Capital A and Astarc Ventures re-iterate confidence in the company.
Founded by Piyush Kumar and Dipesh Aggarwal in 2016, Rooter’s vision is to become the world’s largest mobile game streaming platform, on the lines of what Twitch has built for the PC and Console gaming space. In the last 12 months, the company has emerged as the clear leader in India’s Game Streaming and Esports Content category, achieving 4x revenue growth to $7 Mn ARR at 80% gross margin. Rooter also recently became the first gaming content platform in India to achieve 50 million downloads on the Google Play store. Its latest capital infusion, closed on the back of a strong balance sheet, will provide additional fuel to accelerate the company’s growth plans. The company will be utilising the funds to strengthen its technology capabilities, sharpen its product bouquet, and further enhance user experience on its platform. It will also be pursuing market expansion and cross-border growth opportunities, including potential strategic acquisitions.
Speaking on the investment, Piyush Kumar, Founder & CEO – Rooter, said, “We are heartened by the confidence and faith shown by our incoming and existing investors in Rooter’s vision and operating strategy. Our user-centric, tech-driven approach has helped us double our active userbase and scale our market footprint without compromising on sustainability. With more than a sufficient runway, we are expecting to cross $10 Mn ARR by the next quarter and hit profitability by April 2024. Today we are in a strong position to become the most preferred mobile gaming and esports content platform in the world. Our current fundraise will provide us with the impetus to further develop our technology framework and pursue organic and inorganic growth opportunities.”
Sid Talwar, Partner, Lightbox said, “In India’s fast-growing gaming content space, Rooter has set strong benchmarks on how to strike the balance between growth and operational sustainability – establishing rapid scale while maintaining a healthy balance sheet and strong unit economics. We are confident of the ecosystem they are building around game streaming and esports and look forward to supporting them in their mission to become the largest mobile-based gaming content and streaming platform in the world.”
Abhishek Gupta, Partner, Trifecta Capital, added, “When evaluating start-ups, we gauge how well positioned they are to not just capture the addressable market opportunity, but also to adapt to developments. Rooter has a strong vision and a highly capable team that has not only demonstrated its ability to deliver results and growth but to also adapt, improvise, and innovate to stay ahead of the market. We particularly like how Rooter has placed itself at the intersection of the needs of brands, streamers, and viewers in the highly dynamic gaming content and esports streaming category they operate in, and the success they have found in suitably monetising these avenues. We are delighted to come aboard at a critical juncture in their growth journey.”
The company aims to serve markets that mirror India with its sizable gaming audiences and preference for mobile-based content consumption and plans to formally expand its presence across Southeast Asia and MENA region. The funding will also be directed to identify technology partners that can enable Rooter to enhance ecosystem capabilities at a rapid scale. At the same time, Rooter is focused on supporting India’s growing creator ecosystem and working with top eSports teams, gaming content creators, and brands to build one of the fastest-growing content categories in the country.