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Swedish gaming giant MTG acquires Bengaluru-based PlaySimple for $360M

Sweden-based Modern Times Group (MTG), a publically listed gaming giant, has acquired Bengaluru-based game developing startup PlaySimple for $360 million. The deal will help MTG to expand in geographies like India.

Incorporated in November 2014 by brothers Siddharth Jain and Siddhanth Jain – with fellow co-founders Preeti Reddy, and Suraj Nalin, PlaySimple is focused on mobile games across the categories of trivia, word, and puzzle. It has a live portfolio of nine games, including successful titles such as Daily Themed Crossword, Word Trip, Word Jam, and Word Wars, with over 75 million installs and seven million MAUs. The company also has four additional new games in the pipeline to be launched in 2021, and is expanding into the card games genre.

MTG’s Group President and CEO Maria Redin said,

“PlaySimple is a rapidly growing and highly profitable games studio that quickly has established itself as one of the leading global developers of free-to-play word games, an exciting new genre for MTG. An experienced management team and focused, data driven operating model has allowed PlaySimple to develop multiple game hits especially popular with the growing global audience of female gamers…PlaySimple’s adtech and cross promotion competences which have played a pivotal role in their own journey can in time allow us to accelerate the growth of our whole gaming vertical. Expanding our geographical footprint into the Indian subcontinent will also provide access to one of the best talent pools in the world.”

The team at PlaySimple

Since December 2020, MTG has acquired Hutch, Ninja Kiwi, and now PlaySimple, helping it accelerate the build-up of a highly attractive gaming vertical which, on a pro forma basis, generated revenues of approximately $514 million in 2020 and $135 million in Q1 2021 with monthly (MAU) and daily active users (DAU) of approximately 30 million and six million respectively.

PlaySimple Co-founder and CEO Siddharth Jain said,

“We’re delighted to join the MTG family – MTG’s approach to investments offers us creative freedom, and the opportunities created by the GamingCo really resonate with our team. We’re excited to have found a new home for our company, one where our team can learn and grow alongside our fellow companies.”

From 2014, PlaySimple has grown by leaps and bounds. It grew its revenues by 144 percent in the 2020 calendar year to $83 million, with an adjusted EBITDA of $18 million. The strong momentum has continued into 2021, with estimated H1 revenues of $60-64 million — up approximately 82 percent. PlaySimple has approximately 215 full-time employees. 

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