Incubation platform Venture Catalysts today said that it has invested Rs 4.5 crore in Rooter, a live-sports social engagement platform. The pre-series A funding round saw participation from the Venture Catalysts’ investors Khalid Al Tawil, Anjali Malhotra from Aviva, Pranay Nigotiya, Vishal Agarwal, Nishil Agarwal, Tharun Dhariwal and Vivek Awasthi.
Started in May 2016 by Piyush Kumar, Akshat Goel, and Soham Sinha, Rooter aims to bridge the gap in the sports fan engagement market through a tech product. The startup that claims to have 1.6 million fans, covers eight different sports include cricket, football, hockey, tennis, basketball, kabaddi, badminton, and F1 with live scores, chats and commentaries, provides the gamified prediction of a match as well as acts as a platform for sports fans.
“We had identified the massive potential and the game-changing ability of Rooter very early in its journey. During our Investor Pitch Day in Dubai, Rooter was one of the 6 promising start-ups selected for capital funding on the back of its disruptive model and how it had altered the way sports fans connect with one another. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and has recently emerged as the first and only Indian start-up to be selected for the Adidas family-backed 2018 leAD Sports Accelerator Program. We are pleased to formally come onboard as an investor in Rooter,” said Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder and President, Venture Catalysts.
The startup was incubated by Venture Catalysts, with a sum of $250,000. Prior to that, it has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Indian consumer electronics company Intex Technologies. This was preceded by an angel round from Dhruv Chitgopekar, Prantik Dasgupta and Bollywood actor Boman Irani in October last year.
“At Rooter, we have had the singular vision of transforming the sports engagement landscape of India. Since our early days, we have received tremendous support and guidance from the VCats’ team on the best ways to achieve this vision. We are delighted that Venture Catalysts has shown trust and faith in our business approach yet again,” said Piyush Kumar, founder and CEO, Rooter.
With the current fundraising, Rooter plans to expand its user base, offer a multi-lingual experience on apps and launch web products. Besides, it’s also eyeing an international expansion in South East Asia.