Israeli Developer Playtika First of Many Likely Gaming IPOs in 2021

    • Playtika raised $1.9 billion in its IPO last week.
    • Free-to-play and mobile gaming companies like Roblox and Scopely are expected to follow.

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Video games are getting more play on the stock market.

Investors looking to get a piece of the $79.6 billion mobile games market — a segment that grew 26% last year — will have more opportunities as developers start trading.

First up in 2021 is Playtika — the Israeli-based developer that raised $1.9 billion in its IPO last week. Listed on the Nasdaq with an initial market cap of $11.14 billion, the company gained 17.11% in its first day of trading Friday.

Playtika has five of the top 100 grossing games on Apple devices, including Slotomania and Bingo Blitz. It generated $1.8 billion in revenue in the first three quarters of 2020, up 28% compared to the year prior.

Playtika is the first of many free-to-play and mobile game developers likely to go public this year. Others include:

  • Roblox — valued at $29.5 billion after a financing round this month
  • Scopely — valued at $3.3 billion in October 2020
  • Jam City — valued at $1.7 billion in March 2020
  • Niantic — “Pokemon Go” developer was valued at $4 billion in 2019
  • AppLovin — valued at $2 billion in a 2018 financing found

Many of the companies have ramped up game portfolios in recent years to help diversify their revenue streams.

Much of the expansion has been done through acquisitions, like Playtika’s 2018 and 2019 spending spree that added Wooga, Supertreat and Seriously.