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Social casino game maker Huuuge said it will go public in an initial public offering on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The company expects to raise $150 million.
Though a latecomer in the segment, Huuuge found its niche in targeting younger players. It focuses on live operations — frequent updates such as tournaments to keep players coming back.
The company is taking advantage of a big window in gaming IPOs. Playtika went public at an $11.4 billion last week. If you talk about exit deals, or both acquisitions and IPOs, the total value hit $11.6 billion for 158 transactions, according to market analyst InvestGame. The biggest were Zynga’s acquisition of private Peak Games for $1.8 billion and Tencent’s acquisition of Leyou Technologies for $1.4 billion. Activision Blizzard raised $2 billion in senior notes (a form of debt).
Huuuge makes free-to-play social casino mobile games. It said it has 4.74 million monthly active users as off September 30, up from 3.98 million at the end of 2019. CEO Anton Gauffin started the company in 2015.
Huuuge has seen its revenues grow at a compound-annual-growth rate of 30.6% from $152.1 million in 2017 to $259.4 million at the end of 2019.
In the same period its consolidated adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased from a loss of $4.3 million to $24.8 million.
For the nine months ended September 30, Huuuge generated consolidated revenue of $243.5 million compared to $187.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, reflecting a year-to-year growth of 30%. Last year, Huuuge had to pay $6.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the company under Washington state law of violating gambling and consumer protection laws with its its free-to-play social casino games. Others in the industry have also had to pay to settle lawsuits in the state.
In the same period Huuuge’s consolidated adjusted EBITDA increased to $54.2 million from $9.3 million. The company’s games include Huuuge Casino and Billionaire Casino. Huuuge operates through three main divisions, Mighty, Brave and HuuugeX. These divisions
manage Huuuge’s internal and external studios and its games.
Huuuge’s lineup includes social casino games such as Huuuge Casino, Billionaire Casino, Stars Slots, and Huuuge Bingo Saga. Its casual games under Coffee Break Games label include Traffic Puzzle, Transport it, Trolls Pop, and Luna’s Quest Bubble Shooter. Games in the early stages of development include Arena, Rogue Land, Arrows & Empires, and Solitaire TriPeaks: Adventure Journey.
In the IPO, a number of investors and the company will sell shares. Those selling include Big Bets OÜ (Anton Gauffin, founder and CEO), RPII HGE (an entity controlled by The Raine Group), Naver KIP Cheer up Gamers Fund, Korea Investment Global Contents Fund (funds managed by Korea Investment Partners), Seoul Investment Patent Venture Fund, Seoul IP Growth Industry Venture Fund (funds managed by Seoul Investment Partners), and Woori Technology Investment. Gauffin plans to retain a significant share of the company still.
Huuuge will use the money for acquisitions and investments, as well as ongoing operations. Gauffin currently holds 42% of the voting rights at the company. The company said it ranks among the top 10 companies in the multibillion-dollar social casino gaming market. The company has more than 600 employees in 10 offices.
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