Rooter Success Story: India’s Number One Live Gaming & Esports Streaming Platform

Bhoraniya Huda Hifzur Rehman Bhoraniya Huda Hifzur Rehman
Jan 4, 2023 12 min read
Rooter Success Story: India’s Number One Live Gaming & Esports Streaming Platform

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Rooter.

Live streaming platforms have seen a significant surge in their usage for the last few years. Be it reels or live game streaming, each of these categories has its own desired amount of audience. One such platform is Rooter.

Rooter is a gaming app and also a game streaming app. It is counted as the largest esports and game streaming platform in India. Read further to know more about Rooter like business mode, startup story, founders and team, story behind the name, and many other aspects concerning the startup.

Rooter - Company Highlights

Company Name Rooter
Founded 20 May 2016
Founders Mr. Piyush Kumar and Mr. Dipesh Agarwal
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Industry Esports and Gaming
Website www.web.rooter.gg

Rooter - About
Rooter - Industry
Rooter - Founders and Team
Rooter - Startup Story
Rooter - Mission and Vision
Rooter - Name, Tagline, and Logo
Rooter - Business and Revenue Model
Rooter - Products and Services
Rooter - Challenges Faced
Rooter - Customer Acquisition and Growth
Rooter - Funding
Rooter - Competitors
Rooter - Recognition, and Achievements
Rooter - Future Plans

Rooter - About

Rooter is the leading game streaming and esports player in India built for the global mobile gaming market. They are one of the largest esports and games streaming companies in India with more than 16 Million monthly active users.

Today, India is home to nearly 450 Mn gamers spread across Tier 1, 2, and 3 cities. Also, close to 100 million people actively enjoy viewing gaming content.  Seeing these trend markers, the Rooter team believes that the future of social media is in gaming.

People from diverse age groups will connect and engage over playing games, more than any other content consumption category. Rooter aims to be the platform that makes this happen.

Rooter - Industry

The online gaming industry is projected to grow at 18% CAGR to surpass $182 billion in 2025 from its current market size of $79 billion. Esports too is on the rise in India with prize pools expected to reach INR 1 billion by FY 2025.

The rapid growth in the space is being accelerated due to a series of factors like a widening younger population base, higher purchase propensity of gaming consumers, the introduction of new gaming genres, an increasing number of smartphone users, and a high internet penetration rate. Apart from these factors, there are also some clear trends that are expected to shape the future of the space, like:

  • Coming of Web 3.0: The decentralized, interoperable gameplay experience underpinned by blockchain technology is expected to not only scale engagement but also facilitate asset building and earnings for gamers in the form of digital tokens, NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and more.
  • Launch of 5G networks and supportive infrastructure: 5G services are expected to deliver low latency, superfast throughput speeds, and extra bandwidth, which would be ideal for future gaming including cloud-based games, easier concurrent play for esports, and more accessible VR experiences with limited set-up infrastructure.

Rooter - Founders and Team

Rooter was founded through the joint efforts of Mr. Piyush Kumar and Mr. Dipesh Aggarwal.

Mr. Piyush Kumar

Mr. Piyush Kumar - Founder and CEO of Rooter
Mr. Piyush Kumar - Founder and CEO of Rooter

Mr. Piyush Kumar is a Computer Science graduate from Delhi University. After graduation, Mr. Piyush Kumar spent 14 years in key marketing and strategic brand-building roles with a diverse portfolio of companies cutting across Media and Entertainment, F&B, and Consumer technology like Dish TV, ITC, HCL, AB-InBev and Rado (Swatch Group).

During this time period, he was responsible for developing Go-to-Market strategies, driving sales footprint, and building brand voice across a cross-section of marketing channels. As for his role with Rooter, he is the CEO of the country’s biggest esports and game streaming platform and holds responsibility for the P&L. Maintaining investor relations and driving revenue generation as some of his key focus areas.

Mr. Dipesh Agarwal

Dipesh Aggarwal is the COO of Rooter and is responsible for product growth, focusing on building the Rooter content platform and creating a strong community. He works closely with the technology head to build this out. He met Piyush Kumar on Twitter in a very unusual way. From there on, his prime focus is on making the platform Rooter better.

Mr. Dipesh earned his engineering degree from Jadavpur University. He is also a huge football (and Liverpool) fan and always desired to make a career in sports-related businesses. He also used to write for some leading sports media houses in the UK before meeting with Piyush Kumar.

What started with 2 people is currently a team of 100+ passionate people, building the biggest eSports and game streaming platform out of India with global aspirations.

Rooter - Startup Story

Rooter Desktop Live Streaming
Rooter Desktop Live Streaming

Mr. Piyush Kumar is someone who was adapted to social media very early in his life. He used to find social media to be one of the best channels to meet new people and observe how they connect with each other. He believes that social networks have helped people to become part of communities and engage on topics of common interest.

When it comes to sports, in particular, it is incredible to see how strangers bond over discussions around a football match, a cricket series, or any other gaming or sports tournament.

With the same thought, Both the founders of Rooter started thinking about creating a technology-enabled fan engagement platform built around live-action sports, where users could enjoy match prediction games, real-time commentary, participate in chat forums, share trivia, and other multimedia content around the event. That’s how Rooter was born in 2016.

That was the story of how Rooter was born. But before that, finding the co-founder is also an exciting story shared by Mr. Piyush Kumar. Mr. Piyush Kumar believed that finding the right co-founder is as important as the idea or the investor partner. After all, when one is building a startup one needs to be ready for the ups and downs of the journey, and having someone you can trust is non-negotiable

He found Mr. Dipesh Agrwal on Twitter back in February 2016 in a very interesting way. Their meet was the result of a tweet posted by Mr. Piyush Kumar looking for a football fan who can also head the content team for a startup. Among the responses present over there, the profile of Mr. Dipesh Agarwal stood out.

From his profile, Piyush Kumar got the idea of his knowledge and expertise in the sports and technology field. He also noticed that Mr. Dipesh Agarwal has a good understanding of the pulse of sports fans, and the kind of content they would love to engage with.

This understanding led to virtual and offline meetings between both them in Kolkata and Delhi to affirm their vision as one. Not only they had cracked the product to build, but with Mr. Dipesh Agarwal’s technology and content expertise and Mr. Piyush Kumar’s experience with building and scaling consumer products, they made a great team for this business.

Together they worked out on partnership roadmap that was based on complete honesty and transparency in their engagements, strong integrity in their actions, and deep respect for each other’s perspectives.

Between 2016 and 2019, they tested and built multiple features to become the one-stop destination for live sports-related content. But soon realized that they were able to have high engagement peaks only during the live events. Apart from that, their retention rates had started to plateau.

To overcome this, they needed to work with a content stream that was equally engaging, self-sustaining, and round-the-clock – which is what gaming turned out to be.

The pandemic and halting of sporting events became the moment of truth that led them to plunge full steam into game streaming. It’s a far bigger market, but the thesis remains the same – there are multiple things that can bring unknown people together to share some of the most enjoyable experiences of their lives and this is what they wanted to make happen.

Within the first three to four months Rooter team started getting strong signals that pivoting was the right thing for their business. This pivot not only helped them crack the right product-market fit but attracted marquee investors to the story.

Rooter - Mission and Vision

The company was launched with the mission to provide a fair and inspiring platform to gaming content creators, equipping them with tools to produce entertaining content that is unique to their personas, while benefiting from monetizable opportunities for their efforts.

At the same time, by building a rich and diverse content repository, driving effortless discovery, personalized recommendations, and convenient share-ability, the platform offers immersive community experiences for gaming enthusiasts to connect and bond over

Being a sports-related business, the Rooter founders didn’t want to use common terminologies like ‘sport’ or ‘fan’, because it would have gotten lost in the deluge of already available apps in the space.

At the same time, they wanted to find a word that represented the community of fans they were catering to and their passion for sports. Mr. Piyush Kumar was inspired by how Twitter got its name, and how the word represents both a noun and a verb.

So the Rooter team wanted the name to pack the same punch and found Rooter, which means supporter or fan of a sports team or player, as the perfect name for the firm.

Rooter - Business and Revenue Model

Rooter is the only player in the game-streaming category to have built monetization capabilities. They have multiple revenue streams, which include advertising, performance marketing, in-app purchases, sponsored events, and creator subscriptions.

In fact, over the span of Q1 2022 to Q2 2022, they achieved 83% growth in revenue and a 59% spike in MAUs (monthly active users) to reach 15.2mn MAUs. Rooter has also even witnessed a 92% increase in gifting value over six months through their dedicated commerce store, Rooter Shop, where people can make in-app purchases like buying our virtual currencies (Rooter Diamonds and Rooter Gems) for fan-gifting purposes, earn engagement-based rewards and more.

Rooter is now on track to hit $10mn ARR by Dec 2022. They have already partnered with 100+ top brands like Flipkart, Amazon, Intel, HP, Pizza Hut, Godrej, PhonePe, CoinDCX, Unacademy, Byju’s, Chingari, Josh and more, helping them target a wide and highly-engaged demographic of youth consumers.

They’ve always believed monetization is critical to tech-driven, community-building efforts. Becoming the only Indian player to launch and build these channels has given them the confidence to explore more such opportunities for the associated creators.

Rooter - Products and Services

Rooter Mobile App Home Screen
Rooter Mobile App Home Screen

Rooter has built one of the most user-friendly tech interfaces on their mobile app and website which allows everyone from professional gamers to newly minted content creators to stream without a hitch and get the opportunity to monetize from their content.

At the same time, consumers can access highly personalized content recommendations, engage with fellow fans and streamers, and explore gifting and earning options.  Some of their product features are:

  • Enhanced User experience: The platform has deployed a Machine Learning model which helps the platform in tailoring content feeds for the users as per their watch history and preferences.
  • Enabling content-creation tools: Rooter is the only app in the country that allows gamers to stream content directly using its in-built features, while the fans can enjoy a live streaming experience smoothly on the same app.
  • Gamified engagements: Gaming fans can gift Rooter Diamonds, a native currency on the Rooter platform, to their favorite creators. This in-app gifting allows them to show their support for their favorite streamer while they in turn get to engage and bond with their fans. Rooter has also introduced Rooter Coins which can be unlocked through watch-to-earn and create-to-earn models, enabling creators and users alike to earn from their experience. These Coins can be further redeemed for exciting gaming coupons and gift vouchers, allowing them to continue engaging and growing on the platform.

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Rooter - Challenges Faced

When Rooter was started as a sports engagement platform, they were able to attract a huge number of sports fans, however, despite positive feedback on the product, scalability after a point plateaued as it became dependent on physical matches and sports events when fan engagement numbers would peak.

With the pandemic, they found a stronger market in gaming-related content which was round-the-clock, had a growing user base cutting across age groups, and has extremely high engagement rates. Hence in 2020, Rooter pivoted to a full-fledged esports and game-streaming platform, and today they have a 30% market share in the category.

Rooter - Customer Acquisition and Growth

Rooter - Reel
Rooter - Reel

Rooter currently has over 16 Mn monthly active users (MAUs) and is expected to have a 138% rise in its user base by mid-next year to 38 Mn MAUs. Starting with 50,000 content creators at the beginning of 2021, they now have close to 10 lakh exclusive content creators on the platform.

While an enormous credit for this rise goes to the fact that the gaming market has matured, the Rooter team has also managed to identify the right product-market fix.

Their differentiators are:

  • Our tech-first approach: They have built one of the most user-friendly tech interfaces across their mobile app and website which allows everyone from professional gamers to newly-minted content creators to stream without a hitch
  • Our sharp focus on community building: From providing hands-on support to their creators to leveraging data science and machine learning to deliver personalized gaming content to millions of users – they are creating a rich community experience for everyone
  • Our Content supply is the best in the market- Having the top 12 esports teams and the next 30 upcoming teams along with multiple Tier 1 creators like Yuzi Chahal and Riyan Parag cricketers is a reflection of how Rooter has become the most preferred platform for gamers. This, alongside its strong community program that creates thousands of upcoming streamers every month, and the users who are becoming content creators in gaming through streams and reels has helped them create a rich repository of gaming entertainment.

These have all contributed to making them the most preferred platform in the country, attracting some of the biggest brand sponsors and simultaneously increasing the user's trust in them.

Having the first few consumers is really a big task. Rooter accomplished that easily. Its first 10,000 consumers for the platform came through organic channels. As they were building a sports community engagement platform, word of mouth is how their initial audiences were attracted to the platform.

Rooter - Funding

Rooter has raised $30 mn so far, including their most recent Series A round in January this year. The round saw some of the leading blue-chip funds like Lightbox Ventures, March Gaming, and Duane Park Ventures join their cap table, which also includes marquee investors like 9Unicorns, ADvantage, Capital-A, Goal Ventures, IeAD Sports, and Health Tech Partners.

They’ve been deploying the investments to scale user growth, create a robust content creator ecosystem, and build a marketplace for the gaming community. Over the last eight months, they have crossed 50 Mn app downloads and over 16 Mn MAUs. The top 12 Esports teams in the country and over 1.2 Mn unique creators every month, stream on Rooter.

Also, they’ve become the first game streaming and esports platform to introduce monetization channels and are sharply aiming for revenue growth from $5mn ARR right now to $10mn before the end of 2022. With all these developments, Rooter is focused on becoming the leading player in the country to drive the gaming creator economy.

Rooter - Competitors

The two biggest competitors of Rooter are Twitch and Loco.

Rooter - Recognition, and Achievements

  • Economic Times Brand Equity SPOTT Awards 2022: Gamechanger of the Year in streaming category: Rooter
  • Business World 40 under 40 Entrepreneurs of 2017 for Piyush Kumar, Founder and CEO of Rooter

Rooter - Future Plans

Rooter is already the largest esports and game-streaming platform in the country today and is now focused on strengthening its category leadership substantially. They expect to reach 38 Mn+ MAUs by June 2023 and clock 4x growth in ARR by the end of next year.

They are also targeting a business expansion to 45% market share. Rooter is also the only platform to have successfully developed a wide array of monetization opportunities over the last year. They will continue to build these out as strong revenue channels for the business.

Moreover, being the leader in content partnerships while working with some of the country’s largest publishers, teams, and creators, their focus over the next year will be on consistently growing the talent and partnership pool.  

Conclusion

Rooter is an esports and game streaming platform that is used by 16 million monthly active users. It was developed by two sports lovers named Mr. Piyush Kumar and Mr. Dipesh Agarwal.

It was created with the aim of providing a fair platform for gaming content creators which is in much demand nowadays. The above article contains more details on Rooter and its journey to becoming the number one game streaming platform in India.

FAQs

Is Rooter an Indian app?

Yes, Rooter is an Indian app with its headquarters located in New Delhi.

Is Rooter good for streaming?

Yes, Rooter is considered a good platform for streaming based on the platform being accepted as the number one game streaming platform in India.

What is meant by Rooter streaming?

Rooter gaming app or a Rooter streaming app is a live streaming app that allows its users the option of providing an e-sport streaming as a good quality video.

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