For founders of startups, to take their companies to public trading is one of the ultimate goals as launching of an IPO (Initial Public Offering) is considered a positive outlook for the company’s future. With gaming companies seeing soaring revenues worldwide, startups involved in gaming are getting a boost.
And news like a successful launch of South Korea’s gaming giant Kakao Games’ IPO launch at KOSADAQ (Korea’s trading board exchange) in September 2020, is sure giving hopes to game startup founders. But Kakao Games is not the first gaming company to list its share for public trading; many Korean startups in game developing and distributing have successfully launched their IPOs in the market. Koreatechdesk.com lists some of the successful IPO launches of Korean startups in the gaming business.
Devsisters Corp is a video game developer known for its running game series ‘Cookie Run’. Based in Seoul, the company was launched in 2009 and has developed various games for smartphones and tablets over the years. In 2014, Devsisters announced its IPO for 2,700,000 shares at 53,000 won per share on the KOSDAQ Stock market on October 6. The market fund of 4 trillion won was concentrated in the public offering of Devsisters. In May 2015, the company announced its subsidiary, the startup investment company Devsisters Ventures.
Another game developer to launch its IPO is Pearl Abyss, known for its online game ‘Black Desert.’ On September 14, 2017, Pearl Abyss listed on the KOSDAQ market and started trading. Pearl Abyss had started trading at 92,000 won, down 14.56% from the public offering price of 103,000 won on the first day of listing. The share of Pearl Abyss traded for 191,000 won on September 21, 2020.
Thumbage engages in the development of role-playing and action games for mobile devices. The company’s products consist of Hero For Kakao, Ultimate Hero, and INTERPLANET, all of which can be played on mobile devices. ThumbAge was founded in April 2013 and is headquartered in Seongnam, South Korea. Thumbage is planning to enter the global market by utilizing content related to DC Comics & movies that are gaining popularity in Hollywood.
DoubleUGames is a gaming company offering social casino games for online and mobile-based platforms. DoubleU Casino and DoubleDown are its most famous games, now available in over 120 countries. Other popular games include Take5 and Ellen Slots. Their target market is users of Facebook and mobile phones. They generated over $420 million in sales in 2018 and surpassed $500 million in 2019. Their current market cap sits at around $1 billion. A total of 427,450 shares were offered in the IPO subscriptions, and 850,4490 shares, equivalent to 20%, were returned to general subscribers.
The gaming company has a lot of success worldwide with its engaging games like Marvel Future Fight, Cooke Jam, Lineage 2, etc. Netmarble brought out its IPO in 2016 and got smashing success. Established in 2000, Netmarble has grown into one of the Top 10 global mobile game publishers, successfully delivering hit titles including Lineage2 Revolution, Everybody’s Marble, Seven Knights, and MARVEL Future Fight.
As the largest shareholder of Jam City, a leading casual game developer, and a parent company to Kabam, a top global game developer of massively multiplayer free-to-play games, Netmarble leads mobile gaming trends in every global market. Netmarble has made significant investments of its own over the years in companies like NCSoft Cop., Big Hit Entertainment, Kakao Games, and Kakao Bank.
Neptune is a South Korean online game center company. It provides services to game developers to create games for smartphones and tablet PCs. Kosdaq-listed Neptune was founded in 2012 by former NHN Hangame CEO Chung Wook. It had made an early investment into Bluehole Studio, the developer of the global hit game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
SundayToz, a mobile game developer famous for ‘Anipang’, entered the KOSDAQ market in 2013 through a merger with Hana Green Spec (SPAC, a company for business acquisition). SundayToz is a social game development company known for a wide range of social game/app developers and stores, such as Kakao Talk, Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Facebook, Cyworld, Naver, and other smartphone and personal computer platforms. In December 2012, SundayToz achieved the “Republic of Korea Presidential Award” for next-generation-targeted content. SundayToz was established on June 1, 2009, and released its first app, Cyworld, in December 2009.
Read about some more gaming Korean startups,
- Game, set, go! These Top Korean gaming companies are all set to rule 2020
- Korean startup Cassel Games enters the online gaming world with a cool ‘rat’ game Ratrapolis
- James Kuk from Twitch: The ‘Video Games Guy’ doing business development for Twitch
- E-Sports company STILL8 receives $4.4 million funds from Neptune Corp.