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WinZO picks up majority stake in Upskillz Games for Web3 gaming foray

WinZO will onboard Upskillz's blockchain and Web3-based offering to its content portfolio while also adding its 1.3 million captive audience base to its platform.

June 21, 2022 / 02:17 PM IST

Social gaming and interactive entertainment platform WinZO is foraying into the Web3 gaming space, after acquiring a majority stake in Gurugram-based game development studio Upskillz Games, the company said on June 21.

While the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, WinZO mentioned that it was an all-cash deal.

Following this purchase, WinZO will onboard Upskillz's blockchain and Web3-based offering to its content portfolio while also adding its 1.3 million captive audience base to its platform.

The startup said it will also collaborate closely with the Upskillz team from the concept stage of new game developments and share support in terms of its technical expertise and resources towards this initiative. Upskillz Games was founded by Mannit Sidhu in December 2020.

This acquisition follows WinZO's investments in game development studios such as Bengaluru-based Bombay Play, UK-based Village Studio and IndiGG, the India sub-decentralised autonomous organisation (subDAO) of Philippine play-to-earn gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG). These investments were made through its $26 million game development fund.

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"India is at the cusp of a global gaming revolution today and with the participation of great partners like Upskillz, WinZO is committed to unlock this latent potential of the Indian game development industry and set India at its rightful position as a leader of this $100 billion global mobile gaming market. We look forward to working closely with the Upskillz team to bring world-class gaming titles for our users and the world" said WinZO co-founder Paavan Nanda.

WinZO, which counts Griffin Gaming Partners and Makers Fund among its investors, claims to have a portfolio of over 100 games across six genres including casual, e-sports, fantasy and quizzes. These games are available in over 12 languages such as English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri, with over 80 million registered users. It partners with third party developers to host games on their Android and iOS apps.

Over the past year, blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT)-based gaming segment has seen significant activity in the country and is expected to be one of the key trends in the sector in 2022, Moneycontrol reported on December 24. This move is also expected to offer better monetisation opportunities for game developers.

Among others eyeing the Web3 gaming space include Dream11 parent Dream Sports that led $120 million funding into Cricket NFT platform Rario through its corporate venture and M&A arm of Dream Sports.

BSE-listed Nazara Technologies has also announced plans to create a cricket offering in Web3 while nCore Games recently raised $10 million funding to expand its properties into metaverse and NFTs as well as launch new games in the Web3 and play-to-earn space.

In February, WazirX co-founder Siddharth Menon teamed up with Pune-based game development firm SuperGaming to launch Tegro, a Web3 game ecosystem marketplace.
Vikas SN
first published: Jun 21, 2022 02:17 pm
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