This creator-driven gaming startup by ex-Flipkart execs is breathing new life into Indian household games – YourStory

Saurabh Pandey’s tryst with stand-up comedy and Akshay Dubey’s gamer persona had a yin-and-yang effect when it came to founding Eloelo. The social gaming and live-streaming startup offers live shows and games that are hosted by influencers and creators on the app. 

It is completely built for the Bharat audience,” Saurabh, Co-founder and CEO of Eloelo, tells YourStory. “Games like Tambola, Antakshari, Dumb Charades, and Chidiya Udd are all being played in a live show hosted by creators and with thousands of users participating together. It recreates the TV show concept but for smartphones.” 

The Bengaluru-based startup looks at the two-sided problem of creators hosting interactive lives but not being able to do so on a short video platform. After the live stream ends, creators are unable to interact in real-time, and the video ends up lacking context. Instead, it becomes an AMA (ask me anything).

The founders discovered that one of the best equalisers was hosting games. “But not all creators are hardcore gamers. What could be the format of games that they host so that it is social, fun, and leads to them forming an interactive community?” he adds.

The Eureka moment

Saurabh and Akshay worked at Flipkart from 2016 to 2020. Saurabh was a category leader at Flipkart, and drove Product Marketing for Lifestyle and leading categories such as accessories, children, nutrition, and fitness. 

Akshay, meanwhile, was involved with data and tech in Flipkart. He was managing several roles as a Technical Product Manager, and over the course of four years at their workplace, the two developed a strong bond. It was in 2020 that they set out to found their own company together. Eloelo happened to be one of the businesses that started out amid the pandemic. The initial operations were completely remote, and for the first few months of its inception, there was no physical office. 

Why social gaming? 

“I used to manage my mom’s YouTube channel for a while,” recalls Saurabh as he traces his way back to how he came up with the idea of Eloelo. “And I realised first-hand that for a small creator, it’s tough to break out and gain any monetisation or even interact with a community. Most of them don’t even have a live stream feature unless they become very big.”

The founders knew that this was a pain point for many creators, and wanted to get into the live space. 

They wanted to make sure that creators could engage with their audience through indigenous social games. The idea was about bringing television game shows that were immensely popular in the past …….



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