Weekly News Digest #37
# of announced deals
announced deals’ size
# of closed deals
US-based indie games publisher and developer tinyBuild (AIM: TBLD) made its 4th acquihiring for 2021 with Bad Pixel, Russia-based developer of the open-world game Deadside, for up to $17.1m, including:
— $6.5m upfront paid 75% in cash and 25% in newly issued tinyBuild shares;
— up to $10.6m in deferred payments over the next 3 years, paid in newly issued shares upon the meeting of certain undisclosed financial KPIs.
Based on $3m EBITDA generated by Bad Pixel during 2020, following the early access release of Deadside, the transaction multiples are 5.7x EV/EBITDA including earn-out and 2.2x EV/EBITDA for upfront only.
Bad Pixel is mostly known for Deadside, a multiplayer FPS with survival elements in post-apocalyptic settings. Overall the game reviews are Mostly Positive (based on more than 18k reviews in Steam). Currently, Bad Pixel continues to develop Deadside with plans to make the map 9x larger (currently it’s 25 sq. km) before the full release of the game. tinyBuild plans to support the developers with expertise and resources on hand, and estimates the deal to be marginally accretive this year, and having a greater potential for return in the following years.
With the acquisition, tinyBuild continues to follow its strategy, built around strong long-term relationships with early-stage developers. tinyBuild helps them to grow expertise and develop their IPs, and then acquihires the team with its franchise via assets acquisitions. Read more about tinyBuild here.
For H1’21, tinyBuild reported Net Game Revenues of $18.6m (vs. $18.5m in H1’20), adj. EBITDA of $7.9m (vs. $6.7m in H1’20) and Operating profit of $0.6m (vs. $2.6m in H1’20). Operating profit decreased due to IPO expenses of $4.4m.
For H1’21, tinyBuild reported Net Game Revenues* of $18.6m (vs. $18.5m in H1’20), adj. EBITDA** of $7.9m (vs. $6.7m in H1’20) and Operating profit of $0.6m (vs. $2.6m in H1’20). Operating profit decreased due to IPO expenses of $4.4m.
*Net Game Revenues excludes any charges relating to impairment of capitalized developer advances
**Excludes expenses related to the IPO and share-based compensation expenses, includes amortization of Development costs
US-based PC&console games developer 1047 Games has raised $100m in its third financing round this year. Such investor attention is caused by the success of Splitgate Arena Warfare — a free-to-play multiplayer shooter with Portal-inspired mechanics, which has been downloaded more than 13m times.
Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, with participation from Insight Partners and Anthos Capital, as well as the returning investors: Galaxy Interactive, VGames, Human Capital, Lakestar, DraperDragon, and Draper University.
In Jul ’21, 1047 Games closed a $10m round led by Human Capital. Just a few months before that, in late May ’21, the company secured $6.5m of Seed funding led by Galaxy Interactive. The proceeds were used to accelerate the development of Splitgate, which was already available on Steam in beta during the Seed round.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
UK-based Sumo Group acquires UK-based game developer Auroch Digital for at least $8.3m. Additional consideration might be paid depending on Auroch’s financial performance by 2024. With this deal, Sumo increased its publishing capabilities by adding 48 staff members to a development team to support Secret Mode — the recently launched publishing division of the group. Auroch will continue to be led by its founder and studio director Tomas Rawlings, and will continue to function under the current name.
Australia-based tech platform created to monetize NFTs in games Immutable raised $60m in Series B round led by Bitkraft Ventures and King River, with participation from others. The funding will be used for expanding the global engineering and sales teams, and to strengthen partnerships with gaming companies.
US-based newly established game studio Elodie Games raised $32.5m to create an unannounced cross-platform cooperative game. Last year the company raised $5m for its project, so the new investment is yet another proof of interest to the game.
Philippines-based esports & gaming company Mineski Global has raised $10.6m in a Series A round, led by Exacta Capital Partners and with participation from Endeavor Catalyst. Funding will be used for the further growth of the company.
US-based Blockchain platform Stardust has raised $5m to provide secure U.S. dollar payments for NFTs in games. The funding will be used to add more games to the platform before its full launch on November 1.
US-based company Statespace, the creator of Aim Lab — the training platform for gamers, has closed a $50m Series C round. The funding will be used for further expansion of the company’s competitive gaming training tools and coaching programs as well as its digital health initiatives.
Poland-based esports analytics firm GGPredict has raised $1m in a recent funding round. ffVC Tech & Gaming, and TDJ Pitango Ventures funds participated in this round. The funding will be used for the US and Scandinavian expansion and further development of its analytical and training CS:GO platform.