GenZ-focused Digital entertainment firm Rusk Media raises $9.5M led by Audacity VC

New Delhi-based Rusk Media, a GenZ-focused digital entertainment startup, has raised $9.5 million (approx. Rs 75 crore) in an extended Series A funding round led by DAOL Investment and Audacity Ventures.

The round also saw participation from existing investors, including InfoEdge Ventures (IEV), Mistry Ventures, and Survam Partners. So far, Rusk Media has raised $12 million in funding.

The media startup operates social channels Alright! and Playground and claims to have over 500 million monthly views and is well-known for its shows on OTT platforms. It is now aiming to launch its own UGC-led social gaming platform.

UGC game creation is becoming widely popular globally with platforms such as Roblox becoming staple destinations for those in the 8–14 age group in the US and Southeast Asia. Rusk said its platform will enable game developers to create games using freely available Rusk IP assets.

“We have confidence in Rusk’s competitiveness in IP creation across fiction, non-fiction, and e-sports entertainment. As investors from Korea, we have seen the immense potential of locally generated premium content and the scalability of strong IPs,” said Chihoon Hyun, Partner at DAOL Investment.

“We believe Rusk is well positioned to become an entertainment powerhouse with their plans for their IPs and IP-led gaming platform,” Chihoon said.

Recently, Rusk Media along with Nodwin Gaming launched a gaming entertainment IP, Playground, built with India’s largest gaming entertainers including CarryMinati, Triggered Insaan, ScoutOP, and Mortal, and garnered over 200 million views – creating a new space within the gaming entertainment ecosystem.

The IP is slated for a global launch for the upcoming edition in December 2022 – January 2023.

“Rusk understands its consumers intimately and its latest social gaming initiative will benefit the whole web3 and gaming ecosystem by bringing in the one thing that the web3 community needs most – relevant users,” said Kabir Kochhar, Managing Partner at Audacity Venture Capital.

“Our future plans are two-fold—firstly, scaling our content with OTT partners via our IPs in India and the rest of the world, with Playground leading the way for our expansion globally. Secondly, we are building a UGC-led social gaming platform that will enable game developers to create games and publish them on our platform using our game developer app that plans to leverage blockchain technology,” said Mayank Yadav, CEO of Rusk Media.

The startup said the second edition of Playground will startup from October to January which will include their existing and new partners to deliver live eSports and reality entertainment to a much larger audience in the 13–22 age group.

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