The Indian gaming industry has also developed rapidly over the recent past due to the availability of cheap smartphones and internet connection. As we know this market is expanding at a very fast pace, there is an Indian startup named WinZO which has established its position and has become the number one vernacular social gaming platform in India. In this article, you will know about the WinZO Success Story, how is WinZO changing the Indian gaming market?

WinZO: Company Highlights

Startup NameWinZO
FoundersPaavan Nanda and Saumya Singh Rathore
CEOPaavan Nanda
HeadquartersNew Delhi, Delhi, India
IndustryeSports, Gaming
Funding$13.32 million (FY21)
Revenue$13.32 million (FY21)

WinZO Success Story: Overview

WinZO Success Story

source: Inventiva

WinZO is a hyper-casual gaming platform with a focus on micro-transactions, and it provides more than 100 games across five formats and over ten Indian languages. The platform comprises games ranging from hyper casual games such as Candy Crush, Metro Surfer, Carrom, Chess, Ludo, and Pool to mid-core games like Free Fire esports titles. 

Some of the teams supported by WinZO are Patna Pirates, Gujarat Giants and Bengal Warriors and they are part of All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). 

WinZO is planning to expand its interface as a ‘Netflix for Gaming’ that will allow the users to play the games with friends. To foster the gaming industry in India, WinZO collaborates with independent developers, mid-level firms, and leading global studios to provide a vast selection of games for the users. 

The above social gaming start-up is very helpful for the developers because it provides them a better revenue model as compared to in-app purchase and advertisement where the small transaction is preferred over a large one. The partner developers of WinZO have claimed that they have been able to generate a hundred times more revenue from this application than they can get from the other platforms like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. 

 WinZO Success Story: Startup Story

The founders of WinZO understood that there was enormous room for expansion when it came to the gaming sector in India. Realizing that the consumption of video games is on the rise among the Indian consumers, they wanted to come up with a service that would meet this need and offer a fun gaming experience. 

Based on the study of potential consumers and targets of the Indian gamers, the developers attempted to produce a platform that would be very appealing to the Indian players. The founding principle of WinZO was to make gaming a common utility for every Indian and for this, it localized content and added incentives. 

This was the reason that led to the creation of WinZO since it aimed at providing its users with various games through which they can enjoy themselves while at the same time having an opportunity to win prizes and other gifts. This marked the beginning of the WinZO app, which has now grown to become the most popular gaming app in India.

In this manner, through recognising the needs of the Indian gamers and capitalizing on the burgeoning gaming market in India, the people behind WinZO have built an effective and popular gaming platform.

WinZO – Founders

Paavan Nanda

Paavan Nanda

Source: X (Twitter)

Paavan Nanda has a strong technical background in engineering and management education from institutions like the IIM Calcutta and Copenhagen Business School, after graduating from NSIT. Merrill Lynch, Abbott Labs, and Bain & Company are among the more recognisable institutions where he has worked. Mr. Nanda was a co-founder of Zostel Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. Zostel Hospitality has merged with ZO Rooms, which is a technology-based affordable hostels and room accommodation. After the shutdown of ZO Rooms merger with OYO in failure, Mr. Nanda switched his business strategies and started co-founding WinZO in the year of 2018.

Saumya Singh Rathore

Saumya Singh Rathore

Source: HerZindgi

WinZO’s co-founder Saumya Singh Rathore has had plenty of experience working in the Fintech sector. Ms. Rathore has a Master’s degree in Psychology from The University of Manchester and is a Chartered Psychologist certainly attributes to her knowledge and appreciations about human behavior and its implications. Before she worked on WinZO, she worked with Paavan Nanda at Zo Rooms, which developed into a relationship leading to their work on WinZO.

WinZO Success Story:  Products and Services

WinZO is an off-play store application having a collection of 70+ casual to mid-core games in five different formats and available in 10 regional Indian languages. Some of the games are rummy, pool carom, ludo, call break, bingo, chess, 29 card game, archery game, bubble shooter, and there are many more.

The platform is intended to give users a feeling of challenge and achievement in the immediate environment. Besides, it enhances its content curation and suggests games that a particular user may find interesting based on their interactions. Through such features like WinZO Versus, WinZO aims at building a community of gamers where players can engage and contend with each other.

For the purpose of inviting the developers to the platform, WinZO has launched the WinZO Developer Console where the developers can sign up and submit the content which can be incorporated into the application. This has attracted a lot of attention and has seen more than 1,000 games submitted by developers worldwide. It also offers a real time analysis dashboard so as to help in tracking output and increase accountability through the system.

WinZO – Business Model and Revenue Model

Winzo Business Model

Source: Concept Phones

The App Annie 2018 gaming report shows that India was among the leading countries in terms of game downloads but the last in terms of in-app spending. With this in mind, WinZO aims at targeting the Indian market given its passion for gaming while at the same time closing the gap for quality studios and developers.

The WinZO Business Model is quite simple – to build a gaming industry in India.  

This objective is pursued through three primary avenues:

1. Offering a complete Game Developer Console to gaming studios, assisting in game distribution and monetization.

2. Charging platform commission fees on the game transactions with provision of sharing the revenue through the Console with the game developers.

3. The proposed system is aimed at providing employment opportunities to students and housewives across India and allow them the opportunity to create content for quizzes through an Indian portal.

WinZO – User Acquisition, Engagement and Monetization Strategy

The main principle that defines the culture of the WinZO team is the belief that every acquisition of a new user is bound to result in future growth. Staying away from the bigger advertising spends, WinZO has always focused on the Return On Investment (ROI) as the key driver. In the beginning, the company used basic advertising methods like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and TikTok Ads but now it mostly focuses on growth hacks and partnerships that have been very beneficial.

Many of the best marketing strategies capitalize on the platform’s most popular aspects and spread like wildfire as users bring their friends and families to the platform.

WinZO has thus seen a rapid expansion in a year and now boasts a user base of over 20 million, with users spending an average of 55 minutes on the app daily, and the app handles more than 200 million transactions in a month. For instance, WinZO has seamlessly brought the rural or isolated users into the digital fold, 20% of these users made their first online transactions through this platform.

Key trends that have been identified by the company during the lockdown include; Female players participation has been on the rise, there has been increased interest in board games such as Chess, Ludo and Carrom. Importantly, players choose to play in the privacy of their own company or with friends and family, which has led to positive growth trends in the platform over 2020.

WinZO is based in Delhi and has seamlessly transitioned to remote work during the pandemic and is only going forward and upward. At the start of 2019, it had only 5 million registered users, which increased to 15 million by the end of the year and went further up to 20 million. This growth is seen in the platform’s monthly volumes of over 200 million transactions and gameplays of over 1 billion.

WinZO : Challenges faced 

Challenges are sure to rise while operating and competing in the game industry and for WinZO, it had numerous hurdles to cross to get to the top. One of such challenges was the complexity of the regulatory structure, to meet the strict following of compliance measures required to bring the organisational processes into legal compliance. The intense competition from the already established industry leaders was a key factor that pushed the company to seek new strategies and cultivate a separate market to differentiate itself.

However, infrastructure and platform were some of the major challenges that acted as barriers to technological advancement where fast solutions were required to ensure continuity of client experiences. However, WinZO did not let these challenges hinder them; instead, they worked harder and took leaps over the hurdles that came their way to establish a strong foothold in the gaming industry.

In this case, the strategic planning and flexibility to anticipate and adapt to adversities when faced with them make it possible for WinZO to illustrate its strength in taking proactive measures.

WinZO : Financial Round and Investment Details

In June 2022, WinZO, a mobile gaming platform, closed its Series A funding round with a large check of $110. Of this amount, $5 million, which shows to investors that they are willing to invest in the company’s business model and its growth potential. FA has helped accelerate the expansion plans of WinZO to cement its position as a market leader in the gaming segment.

 WinZO Success Story: Partnerships and Collaborations

Winzo Partnerships and 

Source: WinZO

In regard to the success of WinZO, external game developers have been assisting WinZO in distributing games on Android gadgets. Moreover, the company dynamically partnered with reliable payment service providers including PayTM, Google Pay, PhonePe, BHIM and others that improved its utility to users.

Additionally, the collaborations with other players in the industry such as the partnership with Nazara Technologies, the operator of Garena for Free Fire has enriched the WinZO’s services section by increasing its gaming sphere. Marketing partnerships with Rein Games and Deftouch have led to being able to offer real-time online Pool and Cricket to WinZO’s user base of over 20 million registered customers. So far, the company has provided access to over 50 independent developers and gaming companies worldwide and created a diverse gaming ecosystem.

Organizational Startups And Strategic Management of WinZO

Since its inception in September 2018, WinZO has pursued a multipronged strategy to enter the Indian gaming market. Therefore, with the help of specially designed marketing communication efforts and enlisting the support of key stakeholders, and making use of virality, WinZO aimed at creating awareness and targeting its niche audience.

WinZO – Partnerships and Brand Ambassadors

It also suggested specific developmental activities for WinZO to increase its brand reach, including strategic partnerships with famous influencers. Latest Partnership: On 19th January 2022, fans of the famous YouTuber Ajey Nagar aka Carry Minati got the joy of seeing him as the new face of this company. After this, for the growth of its popularity and to reach out to more and more talents, WinZO added youth icon and Filmfare award-winning digital artist Bhuvan Bam of ‘BB ki Vines’ on February 15, 2022. 

This partnership intends to capitalize on the sheer reach and relevance of Bhuvan Bam within a cultural context in order to foster the development of interest-piquing material which is equally pertinent for viewers in various parts of India.

India has one among those talents, Bhuvan Bam, from Faridabad, currently having more than 34 million subscribers Earlier, gamers create various tricks and dramatic scenes in games and now they will post distinctive entertaining game-related contents on ‘Carryislive’ and ‘CarryMinati’ streaming channels This define WinZO’s approach for providing totally unique, interesting, and inclined contents and experiences to the users.

Other strong features include Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder at WinZO and sustainability business considerations while supporting these collaborations that are crucial for its market standing with fans.


Summing up, the success story of WinZO is an excellent example of the development of the gaming segment in India, which has been supported by the use of smartphones and the availability of the internet today.  

WinZO has been highly successful in diversifying and localizing its content to meet the needs of the Indian gaming community with styles ranging from hyper-casual to mid-core games in multiple regional languages. The unique selling proposition, which is evident from features such as the WinZO Developer Console and the affiliated store has not only garnered an extensive consumer base but also provided the tools for effective monetizing to the developers.