Deal: Indian Gaming Startup PlaySimple Sold For $360M

PlaySimple logo

One of India’s low-key makers of casual mobile games has sold for a huge sum, spurring surprise in the industry. It’s PlaySimple, which has been sold to Modern Times Group (MTG), a publicly-traded Swedish game company. 

  • MTG is buying PlaySimple for an upfront amount of SEK 3.1 billion ($362mn) and then conditional earn-out payments worth SEK 1.3 billion ($151mn). Making an aggregate of $513mn, it’s one of the largest exits ever for a gaming startup in India.
  • MTG’s payment for PlaySimple is a mix of cash and stock. The $362mn upfront price tag is a very big one for a startup that raised barely $5mn in venture funding, with its last round in 2016. It happens that PlaySimple built a sustainable and solid business for itself that brought in $83mn in sales last year.
  • PlaySimple has a portfolio of nine casual games, including popular ones like Word Trip, Word Jam, and Word Wars. It’s one of the few cases of an Indian startup developing successful mobile games for the global world.
  • To top up its nine games, PlaySimple says it has four new ones in the pipeline for this year, signaling bigger ambitions. It’s no wonder MTG paid a big sum for the startup.
  • The biggest winners money-wise from PlaySimple’s exit are its four Indian co-founders who together own 57% of its shares, implying a $206mn cash haul for them.
  • MTG, based out of Sweden, is one of the world’s major mobile game studios. It made over $500mn in sales last year. PlaySimple is MTG’s third acquisition since last December, continuing the company’s strategy of expanding with acquisitions.

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