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Paavan NandaCo-founder & CEOWinZO Games Private Limited

Paavan Nanda is the CEO and Co-founder of WinZO, India's largest vernacular social gaming
platform with over 100 million registered users. WinZO, the largest social gaming and interactive
entertainment platform, has raised over $100 million and is backed by Griffin Gaming Partners,
Makers Fund, Courtside Ventures, and Steve Pagliuca. Launched in early 2018, the Company
partners with third party developers to host games on their Android/ iOS app, where users can
enjoy personalized multiplayer gameplay experiences. The platform is available in 12 languages
such as English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Bhojpuri. The WinZO platform facilitates
over 4 billion micro-transactions per month across a portfolio of 100+ games. WinZO is focused
on building an enthusiastic community of gamers and gaming influencers in Tier II to V cities in
India. The Company envisions a future where the WinZO platform can deliver a culturally
relevant and enjoyable experience in the global gaming ecosystem, monetized through a unique
micro-transaction model.
Paavan, a second-time entrepreneur, his first venture was Zostel & ZO Rooms, a Tiger Global
backed aggregator model. Zostel is now Asia's largest chain of backpackers' hostels. Paavan's
corporate stint before entrepreneurship were with Bain & Company, Abbott Labs, and Bank of
America - Global Trading Desk. He is an engineering graduate from NSIT- 2009, and completed
his MBA from IIM Calcutta in 2014.
Given his love for constantly innovating and his inherent interest in consumer tech, he mulled
over his next venture. It is then that the avid gamer in Nanda observed how even
less-expensive smartphones are offering ample features to run good games. He sensed an
opportunity in gaming, driven by improving mobile connectivity and declining data costs in the
country. Nanda believes that gaming will be the next big thing in India for various reasons. He
gathered monetization to be a huge challenge for the gaming industry, especially since
advertisements don’t fetch substantive returns. He decided to solve the monetization issue and
Founded WinZO Games in 2018, with former colleague Saumya Singh Rathore.
Over the years, he has enabled WinZO to create an able and exciting gaming experience.
Nanda is always keen on creating memorable gaming experiences for its users and is on a look
out for unique ideas that can expand the interactive gaming ecosystem. He has launched a $30
Million Game Developers Fund to collaborate with companies across all forms of interactive
entertainment such as games, economies around gaming, content creation, live-ops, security
etc. through capital investment, infrastructural support and monetisation support. WinZO has
made some strategic investments in the range of $0.1 Mn - $0.5 Mn in each of the partnerships
varying from concept stage to near completion stage in the product life cycle.
He truly believes the next big company emerging from India with capabilities of capturing the
global grid will be from the gaming industry. Recognising his contributions, Paavan was awarded
the 'Disruptor of the Year' award by the Business World in 2021. WinZO was recognised as the
'Startup of the Year' in 2020 by Entrepreneur India.

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