Smartphone vendor Intex has launched a Rs 150-200-crore fund to invest in innovative startups with the first being Rooter - the world’s first digital platform that connects, engages and helps sports audiences to interact with each other on a real-time basis during an event.
The primary reason for this diversification is to help make brand Intex reach more people across the globe by supporting innovative ideas and entrepreneurship and to leverage associated businesses. Sports social engagement platform, Rooter earlier successfully raised funds from Dhruv Chitgopekar, Prantik Dasgupta and Bollywood star, Boman Irani.
Rooter is one of the unique concepts that have emerged out of the Indian startup ecosystem, with no pre-existing business model to follow anywhere in the world. With its user engagement features such as live-match prediction, quizzes, and chat forums becoming extremely popular with users, Rooter’s audience base and the time spent by an average user on the app has increased significantly. With the approaching IPL, Rooter hopes to cross half a million downloads from its present 50000+ downloads.
The freshly infused capital will be utilized to strengthen the tech team at Rooter, all the while maintaining a lean structure. It aims to also add more numbers to its sales and marketing team as well as to the content division to bolster the vernacular versions of the app.
The funding will, in addition, help accelerate the platform’s expansion into South-East Asia markets and catalyze partnerships with sports teams and leagues across the globe. Rooter’s ambition to carry out merchandizing activities and possibly fan-player interactions will also get a boost.
“It gives us immense pleasure to have received funding from Intex, one of the fastest growing consumer electronic and mobile phone companies. Rooter is essentially a tech-based platform and we wanted to have an investor on board who could also be our strategic partner and help us evolve our product to fully realize its potential. Intex’s deep understanding of the smart phone market and its popularity in Tier-2 and 3 cities of the country will help us in leveraging for promotions and develop Rooter’s novel idea further, optimizing it to perfectly fit the needs of smart phone users everywhere,” said Piyush Kumar, Founder & CEO, Rooter.
Intex Technologies, which owns the Gujarat Lions IPL team and reported revenue of Rs 6,213 crore for 2015-16, plans to invest from its balance sheet primarily in businesses with which it has synergy such as electronics, apps, mobile phones, human resources and sports.