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BENGALURU : Social gaming platform WinZO on Monday said that it has provided a complete exit to early investor Hike Pvt. Ltd through a share buyback worth $12 million.

Hike has received a four-fold return on its investment in the gaming company through the buyback, WinZO said.

Hike and Kalaari Capital had led WinZO’s $5 million Series A round in July 2019.

The news of Hike’s exit comes after WinZO had raised close to $18 million in Series B funding, led by existing investors, including co-chair of Bain Capital and early investor in Epic Games Stephan Pagliuca, Singapore-based Makers Fund and New York-based Courtside Venture in September 2020, taking the total fundraise tally for the three-year-old startup to $38 million.

Earlier this year, Hike had announced the shutting down of its primary messaging business and launched an online gaming platform Rush, which is similar to WinZO.

Post its Series B round, WinZO had reportedly waived off the non-compete for Hike and withdrawn access to the board and the company.

“As founders, we are humbled to have a board that is extremely bullish and completely aligned with the audacious goals we have set for ourselves. They had immensely supported the company through the process," said Paavan Nanda, co-founder of WinZO.

WinZO offers more than 80 games in more than 12 regional languages. The games include Candy Crush, Metro Surfer, Carrom, Chess, Ludo and Pool.

Since inception, the company claims to have a registered a user base of more than 40 million with a strong foothold in tier-2 cities as well as rural India.

In November, WinZO had announced the launch of its second game developer fund with a corpus of $5 million to groom aspiring game creators through training programmes.

It is also focusing on game ops, streaming and e-sports through its second fund.

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