At AECAL, we have been stressing on our keen interest in Indian, startups. In this latest series of the blog posts, we will be introducing you to our portfolio startups. You can see it for yourself on why their journey is so interesting, what problem they are trying to address and what value AECAL brings to the table for them.
The first in this series is Gamezop , our recent investment . Gamezop is a social network for super casual games. It lets users play new games without the trouble of downloading them. AECAL editorial (AE) team recently caught up with Gaurav Agarwal, co-founder of Gamezop to bring out their interesting story for you.
AE: Tell us about Gamezop? What led to the founding of Gamezop?
Gaurav: Gamezop is essentially a social platform for a casual games. We have Netflix for movies and TV content, but when it comes to content consumption for games, there is no such common aggregator that comes to mind. Gamezop was born out of that need. For trying out any game, you need to download the game first which is a big friction point when you want to play a game. Gamezop is designed to avoid that friction. On Gamezop, the 10-14 steps from wanting to play a game is reduced to one single step. Apart from being a content aggregator for games, it’s also serves as a recommendation engine for casual games. We are also trying to pioneer the offline access to online games. Just imagine if like websites , your games can be cached as well.
AE: Background of the core team behind Gamezop
Gaurav: Gamezop has been founded by myself and my 20-year old brother, Yashash Agarwal in 2015. I have formerly worked with Bain & Co. prior to co-founding Gamezop. Currently Gamezop is a 8-member strong team. We have healthy mix of gamers and non-gamers in the team. As our target is essentially non-gamers or casual gamers, having that mix in team becomes cruciual.
AE: Share the “wow” moments/milestones of Gamezop.
Gaurav: Every small win is kind of a “wow” moment in the journey of a startup. Few of the notable “wow” moments were –
– Being the youngest startup to be accepted at GSF Accelerator. That time the CEO was just 19 years old.
– Yashash being the youngest founder to raise VC funds
AE: How was the experience of fund-raising? What do you think clicked with the investors about Gamezop?
Gaurav: When we went out to raise funds, it was a very new experience for us. Just imagine, with the CEO just stepping into 20s, while his same-age folks were worrying about passing exams, we were busy in raising funds. Luckily, despite of the young age, we received a lot of support from the startup ecosystem. We are fortunate that no one judged us by our age. In fact, this played as an advantage for us. Late 2015, gaming as a sector was new, so it didn’t take long to gather attention. We figured out that the smartest way to reach VCs is through competitions. That turned out to be true at least in our case. We have emerged as the winners for several top level national and international competitions around the world. Later this year as well, we are representing India in two of the most respected international startup competitions.
AE: How Gamezop is different from others in the space?
Gaurav: We operate in a niche space from technology standpoint. We are the only player when it comes to HTML-based gaming in the local market. We are true believers in HTML5, a type of game structure that works on both mobile and desktop.
AE: What are the future plans for Gamezop?
Gaurav: We are working on a lot of interesting features which would make gaming experience a lot better for casual gamers. One of such features would be enabling the sharing of games via messenger, whatsApp and so on. We would say that just stay tuned to find out as we make gaming accessible and interesting for non-gamers and casual gamers.
AE: How did you get in touch with AECAL? What do you think AECAL brings to the table for Gamezop?
Gaurav: It’s very interesting story for how we got introduced to AECAL. We were a part of a GSF’s initiative which led us to spend 2-weeks in Germany. Peter, the founding partner of AECAL, happens to be a close friend of GSF family. When we met Peter and told us about what we are doing, they were able to see the same bigger picture that we were seeing.
Having AECAL as a part of the journey has been great. It has helped us refine our vision. Also, Europe is a massive market when it comes to gaming. So, this was a strategic investment as well.
AE: Advice to fellow entrepreneurs.
Gaurav: First-time entrepreneurs are usually so protected about their idea. But idea is worth a dime. I would say be more willing to talk about your idea, as no one has the time to copy your idea. My second advice should be, please take compliances very seriously. As if you don’t do paperwork properly, it can attract many unwanted penalties and big trouble for you at later stage.
Stay tuned as we bring the more interviews of our portfolio companies for you. We leave you with this interesting media coverage of Gamezop. Happy Weekend!