Indian gaming community platform Turnip secures $12.5m from investors

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Image by 200dgr | Bigstockphoto

Mobile-first gaming community platform Turnip has managed to secure $12.5 million in a new financing round co-led by Greenoaks and Elevation Capital.

The latest round also saw participation from SEA Capital, Vibe Capital and a slew of entrepreneurs including Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz, Sujeet Kumar of Udaan, Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar of Razorpay, Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini of Unacademy, Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain and Ishan Bansal of Groww, and Akshay Kothari of Notion.

Founded in 2020 by gamers Pooja Dubey and Aditya Sharma, Turnip will use the funding to scale its presence across geographies as it aims to become the top gaming community platform in India, SEA, and LATAM by the end of 2022.

The Bengaluru-based startup will also continue to strengthen its team and onboard tech, design, and growth leaders worldwide. It will also look to broaden its product offerings by exploring ‘Web3’ opportunities.

Turnip helps creators form clubs where they can stream or record their games for fans, talk on audio and video, text each other, run eSports tournaments and host masterclasses.

The platform supports a diversity of creators, including live streamers, montage creators, esports organizations, college clubs, and groups of friends.

Turnip is reportedly working on a token that could allow community operators to reward their members and accept payments. It is also exploring use cases for NFTs on the platform.

Dubey said that platforms such as Twitch and YouTube exist for gamers to help them distribute to an infinitely large user base. But nobody is looking at deeper engagement and monetization.

“We have seen these challenges being addressed in other categories, but gaming right now has a white space,” she was quoted as saying by TechCrunch.

Turnip also allows its users to stream and monetize their interactive experiences on existing platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.

“Our goal is to build from India for the two billion gamers spread across the world. Gamers have been early adopters of technologies and this has created some of the most innovative and immersive consumer products globally — Discord, Streamlabs, Unity, Twitch, Axie Infinity, etc. We want to continue on this same legacy and become the global default home for mobile gaming communities,” Dubey and Sharma said in a joint statement.

Neil Shah, partner, Greenoaks, in a statement, said that Turnip is building a platform that transforms passive viewers into an actively engaged community, including both fans and creators.

“By nailing the mobile experience, we believe Turnip has democratised access for users across the world, letting anyone be a creator or a fan, no matter their device or hardware,” he said.

Turnip claims to have grown its user base from 250,000 users in November 2020 to more than five million users in 2021 – over 60% of this growth has been organic.

Already, 45% of the company’s 5 million users are from outside of India, spanning geographies including Southeast Asia, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, the US and Europe.

“By 2025, the world is projected to have more than 2 billion gamers and Team Turnip is uniquely positioned to disrupt this space by helping create communities that strengthen the relationship between gaming creators and their fans,” the Turnip statement said.

“We deeply believe in the future of mobile gaming communities that Pooja and Aditya are building. When we met them for the first time, we saw that they had the unique combination of skill and ambition to build a product that’s truly global…the venture fund signed its first term sheet with the founders within three days of meeting when there was no product in sight,” said Mayank Khanduja, Partner at Elevation Capital, in a statement.

Elevation Capital also led the seed round of $1.6 million in Turnip in January.

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