Microsoft has held talks in recent weeks about investing in Zupee, an Indian-based game-money-making platform, and has offered to potentially lead a funding round of more than $100 million, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The cloud services giant is expanding its business in key overseas markets.
People familiar with the matter warned that the two companies have not yet reached an agreement, and there is a good chance that the deal will not materialize. A team within Microsoft has raised concerns about the optics surrounding the betting and advised the global tech giant to steer clear of the deal, a person with knowledge of the details said.
Zupee declined to comment. Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment late last month.like many other startups Including OYO In the Zupee deal in which Microsoft invested in India, Zupee tried to get the startup to use Azure and other Microsoft cloud services as part of the deal, two people familiar with the matter said.
New Delhi-based Zupee, which has raised more than $120 million to date, including about $100 million in a Series B round that closed in January, operates what it describes as a “casual skill-based gaming” platform. The company, which was last valued at $600 million, has more than 70 million downloads across a dozen games, including cricket, soccer, chess, rummy and board games themed.
In January, it formed a so-called “first-of-its-kind” partnership with India’s largest telecom operator, Jio Platforms, which has more than 420 million subscribers. Zupee said in an earlier press release that the two companies will work to build an “ecosystem to facilitate faster and more efficient development and distribution of products and services.”