Gaming startup FanPlay today announced that it has raised $1.2 million in a pre-Series A round led by venture capital firm Upsparkswith participation from Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED), Goodwater Capital, LetsVenture, Atrium Angels, IIM-Indore Angel Fund and other angel investors. Existing investors based in India, USA, UK, Japan and Singapore also participated in this round of funding. The startup will be utilizing the funds to further expand its product offerings and include more game formats on its platform.
FanPlay organizes live games hosted by content creators and social media celebrities on its platform Fangame.live. Since its launch in 2020, the startup has been able to retain more than 60% of its creators on its platform. Over the past year, the startup is also gaining traction amongst several Indians who are utilizing their platform to play games and connect with their families and friends online. The gaming platform is aiming to double the number of creators and users by the end of FY 2022.
Speaking on the fund round, Mohamad Faraz, Co-founder, Upsparks said, “The gaming industry in India is thriving, and the pandemic has accelerated the popularity of mobile games. FanPlay founder’s vision and execution capabilities will help it to become the largest real money gaming platform in India. We believe that it’s games and social experience will resonate with many Indians and help fans build relationships with the creators. The company being backed by Y Combinator and other marquee investors is a testimony to our belief in it and the disruption it is bringing in the social gaming space. We thereby take immense pride in backing the firm to help reach its future goals.”
Since its launch in 2020, Upsparks, an early-stage venture capital firm based out of Bengaluru, has already invested in more than 35 startups in the technology sector. With an exceptional expertise in finding, nurturing, and assessing technology startups, some of its marquee investments include startups such as cloud marketing platform Pyxis One, e-scooter sharing technology platform Zypp, supply chain intelligence company Wherehouse, banking as a service platform Decentro, and upskilling start-up SkilloVilla among others.
Commenting on the fundraise, Sunitha Ramaswamy, President, Early Stage, LetsVenture said, “The Indian gaming industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the world. With the online gaming segment having a strong foothold within the entertainment industry, it will further see a rise with the segment growing across. This will indeed give a major boost to the Indian economy. We at LetsVenture are happy to support FanPlay in their follow-on round and are looking forward to work with Bharat & his team as they now look to scale their business going forward.”
Highlighting on the company’s future plans, Bharat Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, FanPlay said, “The potential for creator monetisation is massive and the products available currently are at a very nascent stage. We intend to build world class products for creators to monetise in multiple ways. We have been able to do it well through gaming and want to augment our product offering with monetisation through gifting, skill based mini classes and other game formats.”
Incorporated in 2020, Upsparks is an early-stage venture capital firm known for its exceptional expertise in finding, nurturing, and assessing technology start-ups. Formed by a team of successful entrepreneurs, Mohamad Faraz, Shivam Prasad and Vinay Jain‘s exceptional grasp of early-stage technology investments enables them to invest well ahead of most venture capital firms, giving them priority access to high-performing investment opportunities. The team comes with an immense experience of product, business development, GTM, growth, partnership, and operations. They are poised to support early-stage start-ups in raising funds as well as building and scaling their business, which makes them ideal partners to maximise chances of long-term success. The company is also providing strategic support on topics such as go-to-market, strategy, business development, organizational development, and financing.
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