It appears the creators of Candy Crush Saga are ready to cash in on the success of the simple three-of-a-kind matching game.
King, the British company behind the Candy Crush Saga as well as a slew of other social games, has submitted paperwork for an initial public offering to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to the Telegraph. The UK-based technology company is expected to trade on the US’s Nasdaq exchange, and garner a value of more than $5 billion.
Besides being “the biggest IPO by a UK technology company for years,” in the Telegraph’s words, what makes King’s IPO notable is that like Twitter, which filed its paperwork to the SEC two weeks ago, King has kept its filing confidential. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act allows “emerging growth companies” with less than $1 billion in annual revenue to keep their IPO filings under wraps for a period. For that reason, financial details about King’s filing are hard to come by.
The game developer, however, has enjoyed almost meteoric success. Its games are now played billions of times a month; its Candy Crush Saga game alone logs over 10 million active users a day on Facebook. While users can play the games like Candy Crush for free, upgrades and other accessories can be had for a price. King’s annual revenues are believed to be in the hundreds of millions.
Many will watch King’s IPO with Zynga, the last big mobile game creator to launch an IPO, on their mind. Zynga, valued at just under $3 billion, nose-dived shortly after going public, thanks in large part to a falling out with Facebook. King, which has almost twice as many users, is believed by many to be Zynga’s heir apparent. A successful IPO will mean convincing investors that King is not fated to follow the same course as Zynga.
The Wall Street Journal reported back in July that King had spoken with several banks, including JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Bank of America about leading the potential IPO. Separately, the firm also offered hints of its intentions when it hired Hope Cochran as its chief financial officer, who previously led tech firm Clearwire during its IPO.
King has risen to fame on the heels of the success of the Candy Crush Saga, but the company is hardly a toddler in the tech world. King was founded in 2003, and already had roughly 10 million users before it launched Candy Crush.