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GGP Gaming Weekly – Week 27

M&A and Capital Raising

WinZO raises $65M to scale social interactive entertainment platform (link)
Griffin Gaming Partners led the round

  • Indian social entertainment platform WinZO will use the funds to accelerate its growth in the Indian Interactive Entertainment industry
  • WinZO offers an extensive suite of services to users, including real money game multiplayer functionality, a digital storefront, and an integrated streaming service in a central application
  • WinZO’s platform has seen significant growth since its launch in 2018, having grown revenues tenfold over the past 12 months with over 45M total downloads
  • Griffin Gaming Partners led the round, with participation from Makers Fund, Courtside Ventures, and Steve Pagliuca, Co-Chairman of Bain Capital

IronSource goes public via SPAC at an $11.1B valuation (link)

  • Tel-Aviv based IronSource has completed a business combination with Thoma Bravo Advantage, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, at a valuation of $11.1B
  • IronSource is a platform that provides monetization, engagement, and analytics services to mobile app developers, with its monetization platform powering more than 87% of the top 100 mobile games
  • IronSource currently trades on the NYSE under the $IS ticker

MTG acquires PlaySimple for at least $360M (link)

  • Swedish gaming company Modern Times Group has acquired Indian Word Games studio PlaySimple for $360M (up-front) in cash and stock
  • Founded in 2014, PlaySimple is known for games such as Daily Themed Crossword, Word Trip, Word Jam and Word Wars, having amassed 75M downloads and 1.9M DAUs
  • The transaction represents a concentrated effort from the part of MTG to establish a foothold in Mobile, with PlaySimple joining other MTG mobile studios such as InnoGames, Hutch Games, Kongregate, and Ninja Kiwi

Dream Games raises $155M for Match-3 games (link)

  • Istanbul-based Dream Games will use the funds to scale and augment their development capabilities in the Match-3 genre
  • The funding is the largest Series B financing in Turkey, valuing Dream Games at $1B
  • Dream Games is known for their debut game Royal Match, which reached the top-20 grossing games list in the US, United Kingdom, and Germany in only 3 months
  • Index Ventures and Makers Fund co-led the round, with participation from Balderton Capital, IVP, and Kora

Animoca Brands raises $50M to bring NFTs to games (link)

  • Hong-Kong-based Animoca Brands will use the funds to support strategic investments and acquisitions, product development, and licenses for popular intellectual properties
  • Animoca’s pre-money valuation for the round was $1B, with participation from investors such as Blue Pool Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Gobi Partners, Korea Investment Partners, Liberty City Ventures, Samsung Venture Investment Corp., Scopely, Token Bay Capital, and zVentures

TCGplayer raises $35M to expand beyond tabletop games (link)

  • Syracuse-based TCGplayer will use the funds to expand into new digital collectible hobbies
  • TCGplayer claims it operates the largest online marketplace for trading card games, and will expand into new hobbies such as collectible sports cards and comic books
  • Funding was provided from Vista Credit Partners

Quizizz raises $31.5M for gamified lesson development (link)

  • Santa Monica and India-based Quizizz will use the funds to develop gamified quizzes and interactive lessons to facilitate learning for students worldwide
  • Quizizz’s platform currently has over 20M quizzes spanning a wide range of academic topics and grade levels, and is currently used in over 120 countries
  • Tiger Global Management led the round, with participation from existing investors such as Nexus Venture Partners, GSV Ventures, and Eight Roads Ventures

Singularity 6 raises $30M ahead of launching Palia (link)

  • Los Angeles-based Singularity 6 will use the funds to fuel the development and launch of Palia, a peaceful online MMO that bridges the gap between community-simulation games and the MMO experience
  • Singularity 6 currently has 56 employees with experience at leading developers such as Blizzard, Epic, Riot, and Sony
  • FunPlus Ventures led the round, with participation from previous investors including Andreessen Horowitz and London Venture Partners as well as Transcend, Anthos Capital, and game industry veteran Mitch Lasky

Hiber raises $15M for user-generated games created on Mobile (link)

  • Sweden-based Hiber will use the funds for its platform for publishing user-generated games
  • Hiber’s platform facilitates user-generated game development without the need for prior programming knowledge, with over 1M interactive experiences having been developed on the platform
  • EQT Ventures led the round with participation from CMT Digital, Luminar Ventures, Bumble Ventures, Sybo, and Konvoy Ventures

Drop Fake raises $9M for social gaming experiences (link)

  • The game studio will use the funds to help develop a 4X strategy game for Mobile with cross-platform functionality on other platforms including PC
  • Drop Fake’s team has previously worked across several well-known titles including EverQuest, Skate, Command & Conquer, Game of War, and Marvel: Contest of Champions
  • March Gaming led the round, with participation from FunPlus Ventures, CourtsideVC, 1Up Ventures, and Aream & Co.

Community Gaming raises $2.3M for esports tournaments (link)

  • New York-based Community Gaming will use the funds to expand its presence into Latin America and Southeast Asia as the first comprehensive blockchain-enabled payment solution in the gaming space
  • Founded in 2017, Community Gaming hosts esports tournaments with a comprehensive platform for player registration, tournament bracket management, and player payments facilitated by distributed ledger technology
  • CoinFund led the round, with participation from investors including Dapper Labs, Animoca Brands, Multicoin Capital, 1kx, and Warburg Serres

Sony acquires PC port specialist Nixxes Software (link)

  • Sony has announced that it was acquired Nixxes Software, a company that specializes in PC ports for console games
  • Netherlands-based Nixxes has worked exclusively on PC ports for Square Enix, including titles such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Avengers
  • The acquisition adds to Sony’s PC development capabilities, with titles such as Days Gone and Horizon: Zero Dawn having already been released on Steam

Sony Interactive Entertainment acquires Housemarque (link)

  • Sony has recently acquired Finland-based game developer Housemarque for an undisclosed amount
  • Housemarque is a long-time partner of Sony, having released 8 PlayStation titles to-date, with its most recent release being Returnal, a PS5 exclusive
  • “With a proven track record of creating original games that feature best-in-class gameplay, Housemarque is a highly-accomplished studio and we couldn't be more thrilled to officially welcome them to the PlayStation Studios family,” said Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios

Other

The Global Game Market will grow to $200B in 2024, according to Newzoo (link)

  • The 2021 Global Games Market Report by Newzoo projects the global game market will grow from $175.8B in 2021 to more than $200B in 2024, representing a CAGR of 8.7%
  • The report also forecasts that the mobile gaming market will generate $90.7B in consumer spending in 2021, growing 4.4% from a year ago
  • While APAC accounts for most players worldwide (55%), Europe and North America heavily over-index for player spending, together accounting for over 40% of games revenues

Nexters raises its financial forecasts as it prepares to go public in SPAC transaction with Kismet Acquisition One Corp. (link)
LionTree serves as financial advisor to Kismet

  • Russia-based Nexters said it grew its financial performance in the first quarter and has raised its outlook for 2021
  • Nexters is known for Hero Wars, a mobile RPG with over 100M downloads on both iOS and Android that seeks to deliver a midcore gaming experience to casual players
  • The studio also intends on launching additional mobile titles, including Chibi Island, a farming adventure game

Gameloft launches first NFTs in Asphalt 9 (link)

  • Gameloft has announced that it will integrate NFTs into Asphalt 9 through a partnership with Epik Prime, with the first batch of tokens consisting of a racing-themed set of collectables
  • Players will compete in an event to earn exclusive trophies and codes for limited edition video NFTs, which they will be able to generate and hold by opening an account via the Epik Prime website starting July 5th
  • Epik Prime currently works with brands including Viacom, Warner Music, Garena, Tencent, and Universal to increase fan engagement and generate new monetization opportunities through unique digital collectables

Former Blizzard developers open a new RTS studio for Tencent Games (link)

  • Tencent Games subsidiary Lightspeed and Quantum Studios Group have recently announced the formation of Uncapped Games Studios
  • Los-Angeles based Uncapped Games Studios is led by David Kim and Jason Hughes, and is currently working on a RTS game for PC
  • Kim and Hughes had extensive involvement in Diablo IV’s development, with the former serving as lead systems designer and the latter serving as lead game producer

Scopely adds 2 new board members, including former Activision Blizzard president (link)

  • Mobile game publisher Scopely has added two new board members – initial public offering adviser Marcie Vu and former Activision Blizzard president Coddy Johnson

“We’re super-excited to have Coddy and Marcie joining and helping us navigate the next stage of growth at Scopely,” said Scopely co-CEO Walter Driver. “It’s been an exciting last few years, with some pretty explosive growth in the rearview mirror. Having trusted advisers to rely on as we navigate the next set of challenges is going to be a huge advantage.”

Gaming Public Multiples

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