TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Roblox to list publicly in March; VSPN mulling US IPO; and Miniclip acquires Green Horse Games.
Roblox to list publicly in March
Roblox Corporation has amended its S1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), revealing its plans to commence share trading on the New York Stock Exchange on or around Wednesday 10th March 2021. The California-headquartered video game platform initially submitted its registration documents in November last year to list publicly via a conventional initial public offering, before delaying proceedings in order to "make improvements" in fostering a market-based relationship with its investors. Its executives then opted to pursue a direct listing, raising USD$520m (£370m) in a Series H financing round led by investment firms Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group to support this. Roblox then delayed proceedings for a second time in order to recategorise how it accounts for revenue generated by its Robux in-game currency.
Writing in the amended prospectus, Roblox CEO, President, and Founder David Baszucki stated, "More than 15 years ago our co-founder Erik [Cassel] and I started with the vision of connecting the world, and today we see ourselves as stewards of this original vision. Futurists and science fiction writers have been imagining the metaverse for decades. As computing power, networking bandwidth, and human interface technologies improve, metaverses will become more and more pervasive. We feel lucky to be part of this evolution. And as we embark on our next 15 years, I look forward to the change that is inevitable as well as the things we feel will always be the same.
VSPN mulling US IPO
Shanghai-based esports solutions provider Versus Programming Network (VSPN), also known as Xi’an Quantum Sports Management Co., is considering an initial public offering on a US exchange as early as this year, according to anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg. The plans are purportedly at an early stage and could change in terms of both date and scale, while the move would be made in order to finance its expansion in the competitive Chinese market, as well as internationally.
Earlier this year, VSPN completed the acquisition of esports production company Banana Gaming & Media, prior to securing USD$60m (£43m) in a Series B follow-on round supported by Prospect Avenue Capital (PAC), Guotai Junan International, and Nan Fung Group. This in turn followed a USD$100m raise led by Tencent in October, which was earmarked for expansion and the development of a first-party short-form video platform.
Miniclip acquires Green Horse Games
Tencent-owned mobile gaming studio Miniclip has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Bucharest-based developer Green Horse Games, best known for its Football Rivals title. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. The acquisition marks the second such purchase in the mobile sports sector made by Miniclip this year, having purchased independent Dutch studio Gamebasics in January, again for an undisclosed sum.
George Lemnaru, CEO of Green Horse Games, commented, “Green Horse Games has had a long- stated mission to build amazing games based on group collaboration. Welcoming Miniclip as a strategic investor is an exciting moment for us as a company and for the growing game development scene in Romania. We, as a team, are very excited to have this opportunity to work closely with our friends at Miniclip to create world class games together. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our investors and supporters who are no longer going to be involved in the business. They have been instrumental in our success so far and, without them, we would not have been able to get to this point."