Venture Capital: Scopely Rides COVID Games Growth, Lands $340M Series E

October 29, 2020 | News, Venture Capital
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The funding round valued Scopely at $3.3 billion.

Leading mobile games and interactive entertainment company Scopely raised $340 million in a Series E round within a year of its previous $200 million funding. The company, which boasts of blockbuster games such as Star Trek Fleet Command, Marvel Strike Force, and WWE Champions, “seized the play,” garnering a whopper of a valuation of $3.3 billion. That valuation is twice what it was a year ago.

The funds will come in handy for more of the strategic acquisitions that Scopely is wont to make from time to time. (Forbes)

Walter Driver, Scopely’s co-CEO and co-founder, told Forbes that the business is quite profitable and on track to clock revenue bookings of $900 million this year.

COVID-19

Gaming has come into its own during the COVID-19 epidemic and acquired impressive size and volume of business.

Marquee investors recognize the inflection point and are willing to take a bet on the industry’s outsized growth potential.

Driver said the bumper round followed “inbound interest” from investors that could chip in with large amounts of capital today, and also in the future.

Investors in Scopely’s latest round include Wellington Management, NewView Capital, TSG Consumer Partners, CPP Investments, funds managed by BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), D1, Battery Ventures, Eldridge, Declaration Partners, and Moore Strategic Ventures. Additional participants in the round included Greycroft, Baillie Gifford, Sands Capital, Revolution Growth, and Highland Capital Partners.

Apart from funding its M&A, the money will also go towards building new product categories as a part of its organic growth plans.

The company told VentureBeat that it is looking forward to some big game launches in 2021 and 2022.

Scopely recently purchased FoxNext from Disney (NYSE: DIS) and development studios in Spain and Ireland.

Gaming industry prospects

Driver told Forbes that Scopely wants to be one of the “the leading service companies in the world.” For that, it would have to gain scale and an advantage amidst the likely future consolidation in the $80 billion per year mobile gaming space.

“Over time, more and more of the overall market will be in the hands of the largest companies,” Drive said.

To achieve this any player would need access to lower cost of capital at scale and the ability to distribute products on a global basis.

Players in the industry would also need to address its transformation into a “games-as-a-service” model from its previous avatar as simply a content (or media) business.

This new model would not only be “direct-to-consumer,” but also turn more and more into a “directed-by-consumer” experience.

“The more somebody can customize their own experience, the more they feel like it’s truly their own, the more valuable it is to them,” observed Driver.

Related Story: Andreessen Horowitz’s Thesis – “Multiplayer Game Experiences are the Next Social Networks”

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