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MTG acquires India-based PlaySimple; Chiratae, Elevation Capital exit
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Sweden-based Modern Times Group ( MTG) said on Friday it has acquired Chiratae Ventures and Elevation Capital-backed Indian word games developer PlaySimple.  

MTG will pay an upfront consideration of approximately SEK (Swedish krona) 3,090 million or $360 million (on a cash and debt-free basis) and performance-based earn-out payments amount to an expected value of SEK 1,287 million in aggregate, the company said.  

PlaySimple has a live portfolio of nine games such as  ‘Daily Themed Crossword’, ‘Word Trip’, ‘Word Jam’, and ‘Word Wars’ with over 7.5 crore installations and 70 lakh monthly active users. 

The company also has four additional new games in the pipeline to be launched in 2021, and is expanding into the card games genre, it said.

PlaySimple grew its revenues by 144 % in the 2020 calendar year to SEK 706 million ($83 million) with an adjusted Ebitda of SEK 154 million ($18 million).  

The company estimates H1 revenues of SEK 510-540 million ($60-64 million), up approximately 82 %, and an estimated adjusted Ebitda increase of 140 % to SEK 145-155 million ($17-18 million), compared to the corresponding period last year, the firms said.  

PlaySimple raised around $4 million in capital from IDG Ventures India and SAIF Partners in 2016.

Since then IDG Ventures has become Chiratae Ventures and SAIF Partners has rebranded itself as Elevation Capital.  

“As we join the MTG family, we look forward to leveraging our proprietary technology across MTG’s gaming portfolio, expanding into the European market, investing in cutting-edge technology and building exciting new games,” co-founders and management team members Siddhanth Jain, Suraj Nalin and Preeti Reddy jointly said in a statement.  

PlaySimple has been especially successful in becoming popular with the growing audience of female gamers, which today makes up close to 80% of its total player base, the company said.  

“Acquisitions are a strategic part of our value creation story. Through the acquisitions of Hutch, Ninja Kiwi and now PlaySimple, MTG has built a highly attractive games portfolio that is significantly more diversified in terms of genres, audiences, and revenues, which provides improved visibility, stability and opportunities,” Reed added.  

Since December 2020, MTG has with the acquisitions of Hutch, Ninja Kiwi and now PlaySimple accelerated the buildup of its gaming vertical which on a pro forma basis generated revenues of approximately SEK 4,421 million in 2020 and SEK 1,158 million in Q1 2021 with monthly and daily active users (DAU) of approximately 30 and 6 million, respectively.

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