Naresh Bansal founded Intex Technologies has joined the same league as Micromax in one more area besides being in the mobile phones and electronics appliances business – investing in startups. The company today announced its first investment in digital sports startup Rooter.
Rooter has a 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.
Micromax, however, has already invested in around 10 startups and its portfolio includes Gaana.com, Healthifyme, ixigo, MiMedia and Scandid. The Gurgaon based mobile phone maker has set up a $100 million fund for such startups.
Intex, however, did not disclose the amount it invested in the app. Earlier, Bollywood actor Boman Irani had invested in the sports app.
“Rooter is a great concept, which is gaining exponential numbers suggesting that its popularity is zooming by the day, making it a wonderful business idea. As sports is an extremely emotion-driven phenomenon and the sports fan engagement platform is a completely uncharted territory, Rooter has limitless scope for growth. Being a consumer-facing company, Intex has thrived on sports to fulfill marketing goals and enhance consumer connect. By funding start-up ventures like Rooter, we want to take brand Intex to the next level where it connects with the global audience,” said Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex Technologies.
The freshly infused capital will be utilized by Rooter to strengthen its technology team, while maintaining a lean structure. Rooter also aims to 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. Rooter will benefit from the state-of-the-art technological set up of Intex, access to which can help reduce Rooter’s R&D costs. The ready database of Intex will also be a goldmine for Rooter to identify potential users.
Says Mr. Piyush Kumar, Founder & CEO, Rooter, “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,”
The average time spent by a user on Rooter has gone up from 2-3 minutes in September last year to 13-15 minutes currently. The number of daily active users is also growing at a brisk pace, with Rooter looking to engage more than 20,000 daily active users by the time IPL starts. This increased audience engagement, coupled with a growing list of different kinds of sports being incorporated into the app, has endeared Rooter to its target users and has boosted its attempt to revolutionize the sports viewing experience in India, and the rest of the world.