Zupee, India’s largest skill-based casual gaming company, has announced a first-of-its-kind strategic partnership with Jio Platforms Limited. This will entail integration of products and strong synergies in user engagement and distribution in a future-ready ecosystem that will benefit over 450 million users. With this new synergy, the aim is to build an ecosystem that will facilitate faster and more efficient development and distribution of products and services that will benefit Zupee customers. Jio users will be provided access to Zupee’s rich repertoire of online skill-based games as well as other innovative products that Zupee develops.
With the new partnership in place, emphasis will be on rolling out more quality games in multiple languages to as many users as possible with the ambition of making Zupee the biggest gaming platform in India connecting India with Bharat. Over 150 million 5G handsets are expected to be sold before the commercial launch of 5G in India, and Zupee is aggressively looking to capture as much of the market as possible with this partnership with Jio.
Zupee will also benefit from the reach Jio currently has. Zupee games will be distributed to all the Jio customers. It will also be made available to Jio Phone customers. This will give Zupee the biggest reach of all gaming companies in India catapulting the fastest growing gaming start-up into the biggest gaming company in the country. This strategic partnership firmly cements the trust in the incredible growth and vision that Zupee brings to the table with key strengths in cracking winning game formats and monetisation in the Indian market.
Zupee recently completed US$ 102 million Series B funding round, with an extension of US$ 30 million that was already raised. The round saw participation from marquee investors such as WestCap Group, Tomales Bay Capital, Nepean Capital, AJ Capital, Matrix Partners India & Orios Venture Partners. This takes the total funds raised by Zupee to US$ 121 million at a US$ 600 million valuation. Previous investors include the Smile Group who partnered as a venture builder with Zupee. Zupee has over 70 million downloads in India and the new capital raise will help it grow its reach significantly.
The funds will be utilized for developing new products, enhancing immersive design experiences, expanding into new geographies, ramping up marketing, reach, penetration, research and innovation, and hiring top talent to further Zupee’s ambition of building a platform rich with possibilities and meaningful connections. In 2022, Zupee will continue to develop new forms of purposeful entertainment that can engage, empower and entertain the users.
Dilsher Singh, Founder & CEO, Zupee, said, “Zupee has always been a behavioural science, human motivation & culture first start-up, bringing the best of India’s engineering talent, creativity & storytelling abilities under one roof, pushing the boundaries of innovation, with user centric design and a tech-for-good approach. Jio is the perfect partner for this journey as we look to penetrate the remotest areas of India all the way to the most disadvantaged people to bring them into the fold. This resonates firmly with our idea of the internet of the future which would be open, permissionless, decentralized & limitless. Indian smartphone exports are expected to increase from USD 3.6 bn in 2020-21 to USD 55 bn in 2025-26 which is a 15x growth. As a home-grown start-up, we want to put Indian products and games on all those devices that can take the India story to the world. We will do this while continuing to make games that entertain and put smiles on the faces of millions of people around the world.”
“The timing for this partnership could not be better as we are going to be focussing on innovations in Edge Computing, Decentralised Data Networks and Artificial Intelligence creating a truly global platform with the best that India has to offer. As we work towards building a robust feature rich platform, we never wish to lose sight of staying relevant and meaningful for the last mile and the underserved communities of the country. I remain equally bullish on enhancing the footprint of the Zupee Skilling Academy where we will be at the forefront of empowering the youth of our country for the future of work & jobs through our equal opportunity pillars and our collective efforts on deepening democracy,” he further added.
Zupee has many firsts to its credits and was recently named a soonicorn in the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021 with its founders highlighted as the youngest leaders in the category. They have previously been recognized in the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 Consumer Tech category as well. The gaming start-up is known for taking time-tested, popular games and reengineering them for mobile devices by making them competitive, engaging and entertaining. The user-centric, language-agnostic approach has meant that the games are popular with people across geographies and demographics.