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Scopely Valued at $1.7 Billion After $200 Million Round, With Mobile Game Company’s Sights Set on M&A

Scopely is now a unicorn.

The privately held free-to-play mobile-games publisher announced a $200 million Series D funding round, bringing it to $458 million raised to date. That more than doubles Scopely’s valuation to approximately $1.7 billion, according to a source familiar with the transaction — up a cool billion from $700 million when it closed its previous round of funding last year.

The new funding was led by NewView Capital, founded by former NEA general partner Ravi Viswanathan, with participation from investment firm BlackRock, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and and Scottish asset management firm Baillie Gifford. Existing investors Greycroft Partners, Revolution Growth and Sands Capital Ventures also contributed to the round.

With the new capital, Scopely plans to step up its M&A and investment activity to expand into new genres and acquire intellectual property, said co-CEO Javier Ferreira.

“Now we are in a position to really go after companies and studios that can have an impact on what we’re doing,” said Ferreira, who before joining Scopely was SVP of games publishing at Disney Interactive. Scopely is targeting companies “that have demonstrated success in the marketplace” and “can benefit from our expertise.”

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“We are looking for transformational opportunities as well as smaller companies,” Ferreira added. While focusing on the mobile-games space, he said, Scopely also is looking more broadly for “game experiences that work across multiple platforms.”

Scopely says it’s profitable and in January announced that its annual revenue run-rate topped $400 million. This summer, according to the company, Scopely passed $1 billion in lifetime revenue. The latest funding, Ferreira emphasized, “is not for operating purposes. This is about making strategic bets in the game space.”

At the end of 2018, the company added two new games to its portfolio: “Looney Tunes World of Mayhem,” in partnership with Warner Bros., and “Star Trek Fleet Command” (pictured above), which was created by recently acquired Dublin-based DIGIT Game Studios.

Scopely claims it has had six consecutive game releases that have topped or on track to achieve over $100 million in lifetime revenue: “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.” The company’s games are free to play, offering a variety of in-app purchases for players to unlock new capabilities, and include advertising.

L.A.-based Scopely was founded in 2011 by co-CEO Walter Driver, a social-gaming entrepreneur, along with former Applied Semantics co-founder Eytan Elbaz; Ankur Bulsara, former lead software developer on MySpace’s developer platform; and startup veteran Eric Futoran.

In a statement, NewView Capital’s Ravi Viswanathan said, “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. 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.”

Previous individual investors in Scopely have included Tom Staggs (former COO of Disney); Jim Gianopulos (CEO of Paramount); Peter Chernin (CEO of the Chernin Group); Peter Guber (CEO of Mandalay Entertainment); Jon Schappert (former COO of Zynga and Electronic Arts); Dave Dorman (former CEO of AT&T); Jimmy Iovine (co-founder of Beats by Dre and Interscope Records); and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Scopely is based in Los Angeles with offices in Barcelona, Tokyo and Dublin (DIGIT Games Studios), and additional studios in seven countries. The company has 450 employees, with an additional 400 staff members at studio partners.

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