We want to take Rooter’s annual revenue run rate to $12-15 million in 2022: Piyush Kumar – Exchange4Media
Home-grown game streaming and e-sports platform Rooter recently raised $25 million (Rs 185 crore) in a Series A funding round led by Lightbox, March Gaming, and Duane Park Ventures. 9Unicorns, ADvantage, Capital-A, and Goal Ventures also participated in the round along with existing investors, including IeAD Sports & Health Tech Partners.
Founded by Piyush Kumar and Dipesh Agarwal, Rooter has emerged as a leading player in the Indian gaming category with 8.5 million monthly active users and over 30 million downloads. Rooter Founder and CEO Piyush Kumar spoke to exchange4media about the platform’s growth plans in 2022.
What attracted investors like Lightbox, March Gaming, and Duane Park Ventures to Rooter?
We raised the Series A round funding in almost 4 to 5 months but most of the large investors’ Lightbox and March Gaming almost came within 50 to 60 days since they started talking to us. It’s been an effort of 50-60 days, and we have raised $25 million (Rs 185 crore) in the Series A round. For Lightbox, which is one of the largest funds in India this is their first investment in gaming. It is very encouraging that they decided to back us. For March Gaming, which is part of US-based March Capital, this is their first investment in India. The reason all these investors decided to invest in Rooter is because of the opportunity which they see in gaming. We have all seen how gaming become mainstream. If you look around everybody is playing one or the other games on their mobile phone.
The gaming market has grown from 300 million gamers to almost 500 million gamers and is slated to reach 700 million gamers in another 2 to 3 years. Gaming is a great way of creating communities. Also, gaming is a very monetisable market. This is one industry that has created revenue for every player. Rooter is also very positive about the revenue we are making and what we can make from here. We see a huge opportunity in the game streaming market which is a combination of two major trends in India which are gaming and content. Gaming also offers huge opportunities around emerging technologies like metaverse, web 3.0, and NFT.
How will you utilise the funds?
We are at a very sharp growth stage. We are looking to add a lot of users to Rooter. We are looking to increase downloads. We are looking to add a lot of e-sport games. We are already supporting a lot of game streamers, and we want to create the next 500,000 game streamers. This will help us create a much larger job market. We will also invest in technology to make our product work better. We are focussing on revenue this year like commerce opportunities and everything that gaming offers.
How has the journey been for Rooter, and what are your scale-up plans?
We started in 2016 when Rooter was a sports social platform that was focussing on sports content. In April 2020, we pivoted to game streaming and in the last 20 months we have scaled up massively by creating a community of game streamers, by making technology that is unique in India. We are the only app that allows people to create and consume content. We started to monetise very early in our journey. We are a …….