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Eloelo, a startup that is India’s fastest growing creator-led live social gaming platform, has raised $2.1 million in funding.
Founded in August 2020 by Saurabh Pandey and Akshay Dubey, Eloelo is a livestreaming and social gaming platform. It brings cultural activities like tambola, antakshari, chidiya udd, musical chairs, and talented performers in live formats with creators hosting games for their community of fans.
Eloelo has seen a 15-fold spike in users over the past six months, crossing 1 million on the platform with over 100 million game events recorded. Over 50% of the user base are women.
The founders have passion for the creator economy, as Pandey used to do stand-up comedy and managed his mother’s YouTube channel earlier.
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“We started as content creators on social media and realized how few means existed for creators to monetize directly from their audiences,” Pandey said in an email to GamesBeat. “Creators hosting indigenous social games live was a unique insight we had after observing how Anchors host gameshows on TV or how families play such truly social games together.”
Waterbridge Ventures and Lumikai Fund led the pre-series A round. Lumikai is India’s first gaming and interactive media venture capital fund. Better Capital and talent management firm Exceed Entertainment also participated in the round.
Eloelo launched its beta in September 2020, and the core project debuted in January. The Bangalore-based company will use the money to augment its creator partnerships as well as launch new live game formats, scaling the platform so it can get its next 10 million users.
“India’s creator economy is the fastest growing in the world, and the largest untapped audience in this space is women creators and influencers,” said Justin Shriram Keeling, the cofounder of Lumikai, in an email with GamesBeat. “Eloelo has created a uniquely wholesome, fun and vibrant platform for creators to use their proprietary, lean-forward social gaming formats for families and friends can play together in a safe environment. Eloelo’s growth to over 100 million-plus game sessions in under nine months speaks for itself — and with more than 10,000 creators already onboard organically they’ve demonstrated that anyone from any background can become a future gaming superstar.”
Pandey said in an email to GamesBeat that live video is increasingly resonating with fans as it helps them build authentic relationships with creators. Today, users spend anywhere between 30 minutes to 35 minutes daily enjoying live games and livestreams on the app.
In the next year, Eloelo will launch multiple creator-led live games and event formats that unlock monetization for creators and interactive entertainment for users, Pandey said.
Eloelo is positioned at the intersection of the most creator economy and live social gaming trends. Global parallels to EloElo’s model can be drawn to large companies in China such as Bigo Live, which has a focus on live streaming does $2 billion in annual revenues; and Hago, which had over 100 million downloads in India before the Chinese app’s ban.
Dubey said in an email that India has more than 5 million creators, but 97% of them have very limited income opportunities. With a differentiated offering, the company has seen a lot of excitement from creators who have joined the platform and invited their fans from social platforms as well, Dubey said.
Eloelo is adding many more live game templates for creators to host for their fans. It has also started a creator program where, aside from monetization, creators are equipped with data and insights from their live events. They also receive guidance to help grow to 10 million users over the next 12 months.
The company has 22 employees. The initial target market is India, but the company may trial to scale globally as well. The product vision is to build a truly interactive, inclusive platform where creators host live games and users find it to be a safe, entertaining experience to unwind, Pandey said.
The company said content creators experimenting with multiple formats to showcase authentic dimensions of their personality with audiences.
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