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Turkish cell gaming startup Dream Video games raises $255 million

Royal Match, a puzzle recreation developed by Turkey’s Dream Video games, is now performed by 13 million individuals every month.

Dream Video games

Buyers are betting the subsequent massive success story in gaming will come out of Turkey, even because the nation endures a brutal financial disaster.

Istanbul-based cell recreation developer Dream Video games has raised $255 million in a brand new spherical of funding, the corporate instructed CNBC. Buyers now worth the agency at $2.75 billion, nearly triple the $1 billion it was price simply six months in the past in its final sequence of fundraising.

The money injection was led by Index Ventures, which first backed the corporate in February 2021. Current buyers Makers Fund, IVP, Kora and Balderton Capital additionally participated within the spherical, whereas BlackRock joined as a brand new investor.

Cellular gaming — and tech extra broadly — is proving to be a vibrant spot in an in any other case hellish financial panorama in Turkey.

Turks have confronted hovering costs amid a plunge within the worth of the lira — the forex has fallen greater than 40% in opposition to the U.S. greenback prior to now yr.

A few of this decline was fueled by geopolitical tensions, along with Turkey’s extreme commerce deficit and mounting money owed. However buyers say the scenario was exacerbated by an unorthodox financial coverage, with the central financial institution reducing rates of interest aggressively on the behest of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish tech goes world

Dream Video games was based in 2019 by former executives at Peak Video games, one other cell gaming start-up which was acquired by Zynga for $1.8 billion. Zynga later agreed to be taken over by Take-Two Interactive in a $12.7 billion deal.

Turkey is now residence to among the most useful tech start-ups on the planet, with e-commerce agency Trendyol valued at $16.5 billion and on-line grocery start-up Getir price $7.7 billion.

Soner Aydemir, Dream Video games’ co-founder and CEO, has constructed a enterprise much more useful than his earlier enterprise. He says the success of Peak Video games and different Turkish corporations has helped drive investor curiosity within the nation’s burgeoning tech business.

“In Turkey, we’ve 1000’s of gifted younger individuals,” Aydemir instructed CNBC in an interview. “Cellular gaming provides them the chance to succeed in a world viewers for the primary time.”

In the same vein, Getir has been increasing its attain past Turkey into different markets such because the U.Okay. and America.

Aydemir stated Dream Video games is much less affected by volatility within the native forex as “99% of our income comes from exterior Turkey.” The corporate additionally takes care of its workers, he added, providing “aggressive” salaries in comparison with different corporations.

“There’s not less than one digital firm in Turkey which is price greater than $10 billion, so it is clearly been a supply of nice expertise for a very long time,” Stephane Kurgan, the associate at Index Ventures who led the funding in Dream Video games, instructed CNBC.

Impressed by Pixar

Dream Video games launched its first title, a puzzle recreation known as Royal Match, in March final yr.

The sport sees gamers match up tiles of various colours till they get sufficient factors to progress to the subsequent stage, just like Activision-owned King’s Sweet Crush Saga and Peak Video games’ Toon Blast, which Aydemir had labored on earlier than leaving the agency.

Royal Match lately broke into the highest 5 highest-grossing cell video games on Apple’s App Retailer within the U.S., based on knowledge from App Annie. It is now performed by 13 million individuals every month and generates round $31 million in month-to-month web revenues after Apple and Google take their lower of in-app transactions.

Trying forward, Dream Video games plans to proceed growing Royal Match and start work on a brand new title later this yr.

“We must always develop our viewers,” Aydemir stated. “To do this we should always create a number of titles.”

The Dream Video games founder says he takes quite a lot of inspiration from Disney’s Pixar animation studio. “We aren’t like a typical gaming firm specializing in the gaming viewers,” he stated. “We’re focusing on nearly everybody on the planet.”

“Virality and monetization” are key to constructing a cell gaming firm, Index Ventures’ Kurgan instructed CNBC. Kurgan was beforehand chief working officer at King.

Take-Two Interactive’s nearly $13 billion buy of Zynga “highlights the expansion of cell gaming,” he added. Cellular is the fastest-growing phase of the $180 billion online game business, accounting for greater than 50% of your entire market.

It is not the primary time Index has made an enormous guess on gaming. The agency has additionally invested within the likes of Roblox, King and Supercell, which is now owned by Chinese language tech big Tencent.

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