10 Jun — 16 Jun / 2024

Weekly News Digest #24


# of announced deals
announced deals’ size
# of closed deals

Voodoo Acquires BeReal at a €500m Valuation


Voodoo Acquires Bereal

Voodoo Acquires BeReal at a €500m Valuation

France-based hypercasual games publisher Voodoo acquires French company behind a social network BeReal. The transaction values BeReal at ~$536m (€500), although details on whether the deal was paid in cash only or includes earn-out considerations have not been disclosed.

Launched in 2021, BeReal is a social network that quickly gained its popularity because of the simple but viral concept: once a day, users get push notifications and need to upload their photo taken on both cameras ASAP, or they won’t be able to see the images of their friends.

According to the press release, Voodoo intends to diversify its portfolio into non-gaming apps and invest in BeReal’s growth. This aligns with Voodoo’s ongoing strategy of expanding beyond gaming. For instance, the company already has the pregnancy app WeMoms and the social network Wizz in its portfolio.

As a part of the deal, the CEO of Wizz will take the leadership of BeReal, which means that Voodoo basically takes complete control over the newly acquired social network. This puts both social networks, now controlled by Voodoo, into an interesting position since the apps differ a lot and can potentially take the best practices from each other.

Wizz Downloads

Wizz and BeReal Downloads. Source: AppMagic

On the one hand, we have BeReal, which explicitly states that it has no ads and does not monetize. On the other hand, we have Wizz, a much smaller social network that makes around $1.5m/month on IAP Revenue only, showing a decent $4.1 Revenue per Download, according to AppMagic (ads revenue excluded).

Considering this, we can assume that Voodoo may either integrate BeReal into Wizz or use Wizz’s best monetization practices to start generating revenue with BeReal.

Another possible reason behind the acquisition is BeReal’s user base. The social network is said to have 40 million active users. Yes, BeReal does not have ads, and cross-promotion might not be the case. Nevertheless, data on user behavior and preferences can still be utilized in user acquisition.

Currently, Voodoo is changing its portfolio and making more efforts towards hybrid-casual games. New titles from the publisher are still easy to grasp your attention and have a shallow entry barrier but offer deeper progression and monetization systems. As a result, the company’s share of IAP Revenue has grown significantly over the last couple of years.

Voodoo Revenue

Voodoo’s Revenue Dynamics. Source: AppMagic  

In this context, collecting user data might help the company target an audience suitable for its new monetization strategy, which is especially important in the post-IDFA world.

So, while the deal might not be primarily about the games, it might still influence Voodoo’s core business, especially when BeReal starts monetizing.

But there is more. The social network business can potentially increase the company’s valuation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Voodoo is aiming for an exit soon. It’s just one of the possible long-term strategies that the company sticks to.

After all, public companies that own social networks tend to be traded at a higher valuation than regular gaming businesses. That’s why, while still developing its core gaming business, Voodoo might also pursue the potentially higher multiples.

Voodoo Mults

Trailing twelve months (TTM) multiples comparison of June 17, 2024

Owning two social networks or one that takes the best features from both can significantly improve the company’s valuation. In the long term, this can benefit both when going public or negotiating the sale of the company. One of the examples of a gaming company that is traded at a higher valuation because of its non-gaming business is AppLovin. Today, the company has ~7.9x EV/Revenue TTM and EV/EBITDA TTM ~20.3x multiples, which is significantly higher than the average for a gaming company.

In this context, the deal can benefit Voodoo’s business on several levels, be it improving the current non-gaming business, providing value for UA, or increasing the company’s valuations before the potential acquisition.

As for BeReal, the deal is an excellent opportunity to exit while getting the support and delegating critical decision-making to a parent company. The app’s downloads are far behind their peak in Sep’22, and the monetization question remains open. The last round raised by the company was back in Oct’22 — a $60m Series B round at a $567m valuation.

A year and a half after the round, the financial questions have likely caused a great deal of pressure on the founder, and action must have been taken, and the lower valuation only confirms this.

That’s why the deal has all the chances to be beneficial for both sides. But to prove this, Voodoo still has a lot of work ahead to make the story worth it.


We thank MY.GAMES and Xsolla for supporting this digest.



Sweden-based gaming holding Embracer Group (STO: EMBRAC B) has closed the deal to divest US-based games developer Gearbox Entertainment to US-based gaming holding Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ: TTWO) for $460m. As a final part of the transaction, Embracer issued 8 million shares at ~$9.4 (SEK 98.8) per share and 2 million shares at ~$7.6 (SEK 79.3) per share to settle additional remuneration obligations for Lost Boys Interactive. Take-Two Interactive also announced a secondary offering of 2.8 million shares of its common stock held by Embracer Group AB, issued in connection with the acquisition.

US-based web3 company Uniswap has acquired the web3 games developer Crypto: The Game for an undisclosed sum. Uniswap Labs will utilize the acquired company’s technology. The deal will not affect the development of the company’s main title.


US-based games tech company Astrocade has raised $12m in a Seed funding round from AME Cloud VenturesNvidia VenturesVenture Reality Fund, and other investors. The funds will fuel the development of an AI-based platform for casual games, currently in closed alpha testing, that enables users to create UGC games and share them with other users.

Hong Kong-based web3 gaming platform Yuliverse has raised $4m in a pre-Series A funding round led by LIF Capital, with participation from Presto LabsDWF LabsSending Labs2 Punk CapitalG20CSP DAO071 LabsTitans Ventures, and other investors. The funds will enhance web3 opportunities. With this round, the company’s total funding has exceeded $6m.

In a pre-Seed funding round, Netherlands-based web3 games developer D-Drops has raised ~$537k (€500k) from ROM Utrecht, a Dutch government organization. The funds will support launching the company’s web3 location-based treasure-hunting game. It is the first web3 project backed by the Dutch government and is set for release in Jun’24.

Italy-based esports organization NOVO Esports has raised approximately $324k (€300k) in a funding round from undisclosed investors. The funds will support the organization’s scaling.

South Korea-based PC & Console game developer Tripearl Games has raised an undisclosed sum in a Series A funding round from Hana Ventures and Kona Venture Partners. The funds will fuel the development of the “souls-like” title Velda. The company plans to release the game next year after launching early access at the end of this year.

Australia-based game advertising platform iion has secured an undisclosed sum in a Seed funding round led by, with participation from Archangel and PixCapital. The funds will support the company’s global expansion, game advertising, and development of the monetization platform.


US-based gaming holding company Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ: TTWO) announced a $600m senior notes offering. The offering will comprise two senior notes: $300m of 5.4% notes due 2029 and $300m of 5.6% notes due 2034. The funds will be used for general corporate purposes, such as repaying Senior Notes due 2025.