EXCLUSIVE: Hike is selling its stake in WinZO as Kavin Mittal enters gaming on his own
Hikeis selling its two-year old stake in WinZO, a gaming platform, sources told Business Insider.
- Hike, in 2019, had invested $3 million in WinZO, as a part of its series A investment which also saw Kalaari Capital pumping in money.
- Kavin Mittal’s Hike is looking to get back in the game with two new products – Vibe, an exclusive social platform and Rush, a gaming platform.
Sources privy to the discussion told Business Insider that Hike and WinZO’s talks are in the late stages.
“It seemed like such a natural step for Hike to want to double down on scaling Rush. As a part of this move, it's likely going to sell its stake in WinZO. Kavin's vision for gaming is so much bigger. Investing in WinZO was just one step in that direction. When they invested in WinZO, they could have either acquired it, gotten a majority share, or sold it with good profit. Selling the stake and focusing on Rush is a smart move and is part of a larger roadmap on building incredible new social products," said a source requesting anonymity.
AdvertisementWhen Business Insider reached out to WinZO, the gaming platform confirmed that it had been working towards a complete exit of Hike from the cap-table. “Any other detail at this point cannot be provided or confirmed,” said the company. The company also did not mention who would be buying Hike’s stake.
Hike, a messaging platform, in 2019 had invested in WinZO, as a part of its $5 million series A round, which also saw Kalaari Capital pumping in money. “Gaming to us has always been a new, bite-sized source of entertainment for the masses. As we unbundle Hike, we think of our investment in WinZO and its stellar team as a strong bet in the segment,” Mittal had said in a statement then.
The latest development comes at a time when Hike is looking to go ahead for fundraising itself later this year, and also looks to solidify its position in the gaming industry.
In an earlier interview with Business Insider, Mittal had spoken about his vision with Hike and why it wasn’t going for real money gaming or “gambling”. “Rush is our version of what we believe hyper casual gaming should be. A new entertainment service, we are bringing those old-school gaming arcades online,” he said.
Another source told Business Insider that when Hike had signed the investment deal with WinZO it had also signed a non-compete clause. However, that clause has now been waived off, said the source.
WinZO was founded in October 2016 by Paavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore, who were also the founders of Zostel Hospitality.
AdvertisementThe startup also counts the likes of Singapore based Makers Fund and US based Courtside Ventures as its investors. According to a recent report by Entrackr, WinZO’s valuation in September, 2020 was ₹460 crore.
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