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WinZO Gives Complete Exit To Hike Via US$12 Million Share Buyback

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Vernacular social gaming platform WinZO on Monday said its early investor, Hike has exited the company via a USS12 million share buyback programme. Hike had participated in the USD 5 million series-A funding round in WinZO in 2019, and has received 4X returns within a span of 18 months, a statement said.

“This exit transaction, which has received a nod from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), saw WinZO buy back Hike’s share for USS12 million, making it one of the largest buy back transactions by an early stage start-up in the Indian start-up ecosystem,” it added.

The development comes after WinZO has raised USS13 million capital from its existing investors- Stephan Pagliuca, Makers Fund, and Courtside Venture, it said.

These investors had led the USD 18 million series-B fund raise in WinZO in September last year. With this, the company has raised a total of USS38 million.

Earlier this year, Hike had announced shutting down its primary messaging business and launched a conflicting gaming app Rush, similar to WinZO.

Post the series-B round, WinZO had waived off the non-compete for Hike, alongside withdrawing access to the board and the company, it said.

“Hike’s been given a complete exit from WinZO. As founders, we are super chuffed and humbled to have a Board that is extremely bullish, and completely aligned with the audacious goals we have set for ourselves. They had immensely supported the company through the process,” co-founder of WinZO, Paavan Nanda said.

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