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Tripledot Studios has raised $116 million in its ambition to be the next giant company in mobile games.
The financing round led by 20VC gives London-based casual game maker Tripledot a valuation of $1.4 billion. The company aims to use the money to build its portfolio of games and pursue acquisitions.
Tripledot already reaches more than 25 million people every month with hit games including Woodoku and Solitaire. The company tripled its revenues in 2021, said Lior Shiff, CEO, in an interview with GamesBeat. The company focuses on data-driven decision-making to create chart-topping titles targeted at players over 30.
Other investors include Access Industries, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Eldridge. The deal comes just ten months following the company’s first round.
Shiff founded Tripledot in London in 2017 along with game veterans Akin Babayigit and Eyal Chameides. Shiff was previously founder of social casino game maker Product Madness in 2007, and he sold it to Aristocrat Leisure in 2012 and stayed on for a few years to run the business for Aristocrat, which remains a leader in social casino games. Babayigit previously worked at Peak Games and King. The leaders have decades of experience in games.
“So far, things are going quite well for us,” Schiff said. “We have a unique company that has been able to get and retain a really accessible audience and move super fast. The reason we’ve been doing well is that we were very fortunate to have just a world-class team, across categories of games, from product, tech, testing, and art. We build the technology and the teams that can execute very well across all these functions, and we are taking on bigger projects, more ambitious projects.”
Babayigit, chief operating officer, said in an interview that the company has already launched four titles this year. He said the company is taking advantage of the fact that games are seeing historic growth, and that investors have taken notice by backing more game companies.
“It’s an interesting time in the games ecosystem, and we have seen the biggest m&a transactions in mobile games,” Shiff said. “It’s a great time for any company to raise money. For later-stage companies such as ourselves, we are fortunate that we enjoyed very high growth. It definitely helped us.”
Eyal Chameides, cofounder and chief producer officer, said in an interview the London company has teams in Minsk, in Belarus; Barcelona, Spain; and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Tripledot has been growing fast, and it has 200 global employees.
“What we’ve built is a great platform to aggregate smaller studios. So we see ourselves as an active buyer now. We are a profitable company, and the fundraising really gives us firepower for mergers and acquisitions,” Shiff said.
The mobile game maker aims to be a top expert in creating highly engaging casual games which retain players exceptionally well over a long period of time.
“Tripledot’s growth rate and efficacy in building successful and highly retentive games is unmatched,” said Harry Stebbings, managing partner at 20VC, in a statement. “The leadership of Tripledot is singular; they have built an operation that has been scaling up rapidly while keeping its commitment to quality and a great company culture that knows how to attract and retain the best talents in gaming. We are looking forward to being part of the Tripledot journey.”
As for the metaverse and nonfungible token (NFT) games, Chameides said the company is profitable and it has built a platform that will serve well for future acquisitions.
“We can become a very real value-added buyer. And that I think, is very exciting,” Chameides said. “Regarding the metaverse and NFTs, we are definitel, very interested in understanding better what’s happening there. I can’t say we have pivoted or shifted. It’s a groundbreaking thing that is happening in the blockchain space. We have so much opportunity in terms room to grow in the mobile game space, we think it is important to focus on our core area.”
Babayigit said the Apple’s focus on privacy over targeted ads (the changes in the Identifier for Advertisers, or IDFA) took a lot of the company’s time and attention last year. That changed the way the company had to do user acquisition. That will continue to be a focus going forward. We think we are very good at user acquisition and we will be able to help companies that we acquire.”
To date, the company has launched 10 games, and it is scaling four of them. The ones that are doing best are Solitaire and Woodoku. I asked if hypercasual was a priority, and Shiff said it is a good business but “it’s not our business.”
“We like building games that become part of people’s daily routine for years to come,” Shiff said. “We love games that have long-term retention. Across all of our portfolio, we try to build or buy games.”
He said his teams like to build games that people will play for years, and that’s not the hypercasual model.
“Our DNA is to build the best game we can and to iterate and improve it and keep improving it,” he said. “With hypercasual, the shelf life is so short you don’t have this opportunity to build the quality of product that we strive to build.”
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