SGN Buys TinyCo, Maker of ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’ Mobile Game

Marvel Agengers Academy TinyCo
Courtesy of Marvel/TinyCo

In a move further consolidating the mobile-gaming sector, SGN has acquired Andreessen Horowitz-backed TinyCo, the mobile games developer whose titles built around Hollywood franchises include “Marvel Avengers Academy” and “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to the companies, TinyCo is on track to generate $100 million in revenue this year, which would bring SGN’s 2016 revenue run rate to nearly $500 million.

TinyCo, founded in 2009, had raised $38 million from investors including venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Pinnacle Ventures and individual investors including Ron Conway and Keith Rabois.

SGN’s acquisition of TinyCo comes after China’s Tencent bought Supercell, the Finland-based game developer whose titles include “Clash of Clans,” in a deal worth $8.6 billion.


SGN - Book of Life Sugar Smash

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SGN was founded in 2010 by former MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe; CTO Aber Whitcomb, another MySpace co-founder; and president and COO Josh Yguado, former Fox Neworks Group exec. TinyCo is SGN’s third acquisition since receiving a $130 million investment from South Korea’s Netmarble Games last July; in December 2015, SGN acquired to smaller players, Kiwi Inc. and Fast Rascale Games.

Suli Ali, TinyCo’s CEO and co-founder, will continue running the 125-person team based in San Francisco. That will grow SGN’s headcount from 275 to about 400 employees.

TinyCo’s two most popular free-to-play games — “Marvel Avengers Academy” (pictured above) and “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff” —have been downloaded more than 200 million times since April 2014. Other current TinyCo mobile games include “Tiny Village,” “Tiny Zoo Friends” and “Tiny Monsters.”

SGN claims nearly 50 million active monthly users worldwide play its games, which include “Cookie Jam,” “Panda Pop,” “Juice Jam,” “Genies & Gems” and “Book of Life: Sugar Smash,” based on 20th Century Fox’s 2014 animated movie “The Book of Life.” SGN is based in L.A. with studios in Seattle, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Calif., San Diego and Buenos Aires.

“Suli and TinyCo realized early on the enormous potential of mobile in this industry, and they foresaw the massive opportunities for gaming in entertainment,” DeWolfe said. “Buying TinyCo helps us diversify the types of games we offer and advance our ambition to create a mobile gaming giant.”

Added Ali, “Being a part of SGN will enable us to continue building hugely successful games with Hollywood franchises but with SGN’s resources and firepower behind us.”

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