Turnip, an Indian startup building a mobile-first gaming community platform, has raised $12.5 million in a new financing round to deepen its footprint in India and dozens of other countries, dubbed Web3. Because it looks to broaden its product offering.
Greenox and Elevation Capital co-led the Series A round of the one-and-a-half year old startup. SEA Capital, Vibe Capital and several entrepreneurs including Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz, Sujit Kumar of Udaan, Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar of Razorpay, Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini of Unacademy, Lalit Keshere, Harsh Jain and Ishaan Bansal and Akshay of Grow . Dharana K Kothari also participated in the round.
There are many platforms for gamers, such as Twitch and YouTube, to help distribute them to an infinitely large user base. “But no one is solving deep engagement and monetization,” said Pooja Dubey, founder of Turnip, in an interview with Nerdshala. “We’ve seen these challenges being addressed in other categories, but there’s a white space in gaming right now.”
turnip is attempting to solve this by allowing gamers to build a community on its app, where they can stream live gameplay from their mobile devices, engage with their fans, and monetize.
Fans watch gameplay within the app and can interact with the person playing the game in real-time via text chat, audio and video. Gamers can continue to stream on any platform and integrate gameplay into Turnip to connect with their top fans. They can also host esports tournaments and masterclasses on the app to engage deeply with the audience.
The platform, which offers a wide range of tools and integrations, is designed to support less-specialized devices as well as slow Internet connections, she said.
Fans can tip gamers in a number of ways, including buying items like badges and stickers, paying a lump sum to access certain events, and even setting up a recurring payment. Payments are arranged in a more granular and step-by-step level “instead of asking in advance to pay something,” she said. (Apple and Google take their 30%, while Turnip currently takes about 10% as commission. Depending on usage and the gamer’s income, the startup may change its fee, Dubey said.)
Gaming has become a social experience in recent years, thanks to the rise of interactive games like Fortnite and PUBG, and the availability of faster data speeds that allow friends to talk to each other in real time as they complete missions. go about doing and usually kill. Lots of virtual characters.
“From a design and development standpoint, multiplayer games have positioned themselves well for social features like voice chat,” said Rishi Alwani, longtime industry analyst and communications manager at Supergaming. “Our game Silly Royale, for example, grew to 13 million downloads. With voice chat, we hit 3 million voice minutes a day,” he said.
“Today’s streamers and other creators seek to develop deep, personal, and persistent relationships with their fans, with a richness that is impossible to achieve on Twitch or YouTube alone. Turnip is building a platform that serves passive audiences. into an actively engaged community, delighting fans, while enabling new options for creators, from membership to events, to sponsorships, and more,” said Neil Shah, Partner at Greenox said in a statement.
Turnip has over 5 million users, 45% of whom are from outside India. The startup said that in 2021, users collectively spent more than a billion minutes on the platform.
“We started with India, mostly because it was the home ground. But we always had it in our mind that gaming is something that transcends geographies. Today we have users in 58 countries,” Dubey said. (Some of the major international markets for turnips based on user base are Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.)
The startup plans to deploy new funds this year to deepen its footprint in Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, among other markets. It is looking to expand its team into multiple roles, including product.
One of the products Turnip is currently working on is a token that could allow community operators to reward their members and accept payments. He added that the startup is also exploring use cases for NFTs on the platform.
“We deeply believe in the future of the mobile gaming communities that Pooja and Aditya are building,” Mayank Khanduja, Partner, Elevation Capital, said in a statement. “When we first met him, we saw he had the unique combination of skill and ambition to create a truly global product,” he said, adding that the venture fund completed its first term sheet with the founders within three days. signed on. Meeting when there was no product in sight.
“The product today puts gamers at the center, with a vast majority of digital creators at the center and lets them envision entirely new experiences for their community. Turnip’s spectacular growth and global reach over the past year has fueled their vision. and we are thrilled to confirm our partnership in this latest funding round.