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Mobile game publisher Scopely has raised $200 million in a fourth round of funding so that it can have a war chest for acquisitions and investments.
Scopely said it is profitable and growing, but it will use the money to accelerate its merger and acquisition (M&A) and investment strategy, expanding its portfolio of games across new genres and intellectual property. The deal values the company at more than $1.7 billion, more than double compared to a year ago.
NewView Capital led the round, with participation from Black Rock, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Baillie Gifford, among others. Existing investors who also participated include Greycroft Partners, Revolution Growth, and Sands Capital Ventures. The investment is a sign of further consolidation. Last year, acquisitions totaled $22 billion in the game industry.
Scopely’s big games include Star Trek: Fleet Command, Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, WWE Champions 2019, The Walking Dead: Road To Survival, Yahtzee With Buddies, and Wheel of Fortune: Free Play.
Scopely’s games have generated more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue, and the company said its valuation more than doubled in the past year. At the end of 2018, the company added two new games to its portfolio: Looney Tunes World of Mayhem and Star Trek: Fleet Command. The latter was created with the recently acquired Digit Game Studios and is now Scopely’s fastest-growing title ever.
“With our business continuing to scale and the durability of our flagship properties, we are more bullish than ever on further expanding our portfolio through M&A. This funding round adds the financial support to pursue large-scale acquisition opportunities,” said Walter Driver, Scopely co-CEO, in a statement.
Javier Ferreira, Scopely’s other co-CEO, added in a statement, “The continued interest in our business is a great validation of both our momentum this past year and the fundamental strength of Scopely. We plan to continue to create and deliver the very best game experiences that are an important part of people’s lives – now on an even greater scale.”
Scopely noted that mobile gaming is now the biggest and fastest-growing category in interactive entertainment, generating more than the worldwide box office.
“Scopely is emblematic of the rise of interactive entertainment and we have seen firsthand the team’s ability to repeatedly and successfully launch and sustain mobile products, which are complex live businesses,” said Ravi Viswanathan, managing partner of NewView Capital, in a statement. “Scopely’s technology platform coupled with their strategic partnerships and track record are unmatched in the western world and we are thrilled to deepen our relationship to support their next phase of growth.”
NewView Capital spun out of NEA, and it was founded by Viswanathan, a former NEA general partner.
Greycroft Partner Mark Terbeek said in a statement, “We’ve been longtime supporters of Scopely since our initial seed investment and we continue to be incredibly impressed by their momentum. Scopely has solidified their role as one of the preeminent free-to-play games companies and we are thrilled to increase our participation in the business.”
Scopely was founded in 2011, and it now has 450 employees in offices in Los Angeles, Barcelona, Dublin (DIGIT Game Studio), and Tokyo, with an additional 400 people working on Scopely games at external development studios around the world.
“Our goal is to invest and acquire teams and companies that have achieved success in the marketplace and that have products players love and engage with deeply,” said Driver, in an email to GamesBeat.
Asked why the company isn’t opting for pure organic growth, Driver said, “We are seeing significant organic growth as a profitable business and expect to continue to grow organically in the future. We will use this financing to accelerate our inorganic investment strategy as a complement to our organic growth.”
To date, Scopely has raised more than $450 million. Scopely has six consecutive top-grossing franchises, all on track to hit more than $100 million in lifetime revenue. In early 2019, Scopely said it had exceeded a $400 million annual revenue run rate, and this summer, Scopely said it had hit over $1 billion in lifetime revenue.
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