Game engine maker Unity Technologies is raising money at a $1.5 billion valuation, according to a report by Bloomberg.
No deal is confirmed yet, and a spokesman for San Francisco-based Unity declined to comment. But the deal activity — which one source independently confirmed to GamesBeat — suggests that the company is doing something to raise a big pile of cash.
Unity’s goal is to democratize game development, making tools that enable small or large game developers to create outstanding 3D games across a number of different platforms, from the iPhone to the PC. Unity has more than 5.5 million registered users for its game engine. Games built with Unity account for 30 percent of the top 1000 grossing games and reach more than 1.5 billion devices.
“2015 was a big year, and 2016 will be an even bigger year,” said John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity, at an event at the recent Game Developers Conference today in San Francisco.
We can ask Riccitiello about this when he comes to speak at our GamesBeat Summit event on May 3-4 in Sausalito, Calif. But we’ll see if he can answer before that time.
Bloomberg said that Unity is expected to close its fundraising round within weeks. Unity is an even hotter commodity this year as its tools are being used to make a wave of new games that work with virtual reality headsets such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift.
If Unity is in the midst of raising money, the company has gone a different course than what was expected back in late 2014. Back then, one of the founders who had left the company, Nicholas Francis, wanted to sell some of his shares. That led to a bidding process for his shares, and rumors surfaced that Unity was for sale at a value of $1 billion to $2 billion.
But Unity’s main investor, Sequoia Capital, reportedly bought those shares and added to its own stake. Now, it looks as though Unity is raising money for further expansion, rather than seeking a buyer.