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BENGALURU: Skill-based real money gaming platform Zupee has raised $30 million as a part of its Series B funding round, co-led by Silicon Valley-based WestCap Group and Tomales Bay Capital. The current funding, according to the company, has been raised at a valuation of $500 million, up five-fold since January this year.

At the start of 2021, Zupee had raised $10 million, led by existing investors WestCap Group and Matrix Partners India, at a valuation of $100 million. With the current round, the startup has raised a total of $49 million, and is backed by the likes of Smile Group and Orios Partners. 

Zupee will use the proceeds to expand its product portfolio, deepen market reach and hire global talent.

The three-year old startup is an online gaming platform which provides games to enhance skill. It’s gaming portfolio includes trivia quiz tournaments which has already seen over 250 million gameplays till date, the company said. 

"We are innovating to ensure our games provide an intersection between skill and entertainment, enabling our users to earn while they play. We thank our investors for believing in our purpose and enabling us to progress on our journey to transforming it to reality. Our journey has just begun," said Dilsher Singh, founder and chief executive officer, Zupee. 

The company at present has a user base of 10 million, and will look to grow this count with the fundraise, Singh said.

“WestCap remains a key strategic investor and operating advisor to Zupee and we are increasing our interest again as part of this most recent funding round. This funding will enable the Zupee team to invest further in innovation, expand its suite of games and aggressively pursue international expansion. The company has exponentially accelerated its growth over the last 12 months," said Laurence A. Tosi, founder and managing partner of WestCap, an early investor in Zupee.

According to a report by consulting major KPMG, the Indian online gaming market is expected to grow 113% to 290 billion (or roughly $3.91 billion) by 2025 from 136 billion (roughly $1.83 billion) in FY21. During the period, these gaming platforms are expected to attract 657 million users compared with 433 million now, the report said.

In 2020, the industry saw over 53 billion mobile gaming downloads worldwide, of which 17% came from India, according to industry estimates. By the end of 2021, there will be 2.9 billion online gaming players worldwide, according to estimates.

Back in India, online real-money gaming startups, focused especially on fantasy sports, rummy, and poker, are facing an increasingly challenging regulatory landscape, with several states announcing blanket bans on their operations.

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