Global gaming platform WinZO has partnered with several institutions in Telangana, including the Indian School of Business (ISB) and the International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IIIT Hyderabad). This collaborative initiative is aimed at promoting and nurturing gaming talent and to democratise innovation-led entrepreneurship within the state.
To kickstart this partnership, WinZO hosted 'Open House' investment and mentorship sessions from November 2nd to 4th at the International Game Developers Conference (IGDC). During this event, participants from these colleges will have open access to pitch their ideas and secure funding.
The partnership will also help students hone their entrepreneurship skills and expand their knowledge on how to build a large, scalable global gaming company from India for the world. They can do this through mentorship sessions on fundraising, customer acquisition, monetisation, and engagement in gaming through top experts in this domain.
WinZO recently introduced its app in Brazil, collaborating with over 100 game developers. It is now setting its sights on establishing a talent hub, with Telangana playing a pivotal role in this endeavour. This is because the state has several top-tier colleges and global IT and big tech companies, making it the preferred choice for individuals aspiring to pursue careers in deep engineering. The latter is a critical component of tech-based Intellectual Property (IP) creation.
“WinZO is excited to partner with Telangana's premier institutions in our shared mission to foster gaming talent and drive innovation through collaboration and impactful action-oriented approach. We believe that by harnessing the collective potential of Telangana's top talent and our $50 million fund, mentorship, and access to 175 million userbase, we can propel India's gaming sector to new heights,” said Paavan Nanda, co-founder of WinZO.
He continued that in light of McKinsey Global Institute's projection that India must create 90 million new non-farm jobs by 2023 to accommodate incoming workers, the company’s efforts are concentrated on mentoring talent to invest in intellectual property and technology and support start-ups. This approach aims to improve a start-up’s survival rate as they attract the best talent to solve problems of National importance.
“Whether individuals are working on their own ideas or in startups, they essentially become entrepreneurs, and fostering startup success can lead to more job opportunities. Our primary focus is on nurturing entrepreneurs, particularly in the gaming and interactive entertainment sector, which has a global potential of $30 billion, offering India a significant opportunity for growth,” Nanda claimed.
WinZO has earmarked a fund of $50 million to support promising gaming startups globally, independent game developers and technology-based innovative product solutions. This initiative provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty from these institutions to access funding for their projects.
Launched in 2018, WinZo partners with third-party developers to host games on their Android app, where users can enjoy personalized multiplayer gameplay experiences. The platform is available in 12 languages such as English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri, with over 175 million registered users.
It facilitates over 4 billion micro-transactions per month across a portfolio of 100+ games. It is focused on building an enthusiastic community of gamers and gaming influencers in tier 2 to 5 cities in India.
WinZO, a series-C funded venture, has raised $100 million from investors like Griffin Gaming partners, Courtside Ventures, and Maker’s Fund, all of whom made their first investment in the Indian start-up ecosystem through the gaming start-up.