U.K.-based King, developer of the popular game Candy Crush, has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue its Initial Public Offering (IPO) according to the Telegraph. King, like Twitter, has filed under the JOBS act, which provides smaller companies having $1 billion or less in annual sales to start the IPO process behind the scenes.
There are speculations that the Candy Crush maker will get listed on NASDAQ with a valuation of more than $5 billion. There was no response from the spokesperson of the company.
May be looking for U.S. expansion
Although there was no comment from the company over the IPO, chief executive Riccardo Zacconi earlier showed his interest in expanding King’s business in the United States.
King was established in 2003, and has expanded its user base to 100 million daily active users. Candy Crush is the most popular game, and has 600 million total active game sessions each day on mobile devices. The games developed by King can be played independently, but the games have been extremely popular on the biggest social networking site, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The social networker has been an ardent supporter of King, and once said that the game maker was “the poster child for the fast-growing European games industry”.
King has entered into talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) to handle the IPO process.
King should try to differentiate
Candy Crush is the hottest game on mobile, and King is driving well on its success, but it should try to differentiate itself from Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), once the darling of every mobile gamer, which later slipped into losses.
King has a turnover of £300 million at the start of the fiscal 2013, and has come a long way since then. Compared to King, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has a user base of almost half and market capitalization of $2.9 million. King, unlike other technology startups, has been in the industry for quite a while now. King is headquartered in London’s Soho district and has been earning profits since 2005.
A changing trend
King and Twitter are issuing IPO’s at a time when there is a crunch in public stock offerings by technology companies. Fiscal 2013 would probably come out as the second worst year over the past 20 years when just one of every six companies raising IPO is a tech company, according to data provided by Dealogic. During the dot-com boom, in 1999, 69 percent of all IPOs were from technology or internet related companies.