King.com to Offer IPO Next Year
King.com, which many refer to as Britain’s version of Zynga, has announced that it is planning on making an initial public offering on Nasdaq next year.
Initially King.com was producing games for Yahoo! and it only moved into Facebook gaming in April of last year. However, since then it has seen great success with games such as Bubble Witch Saga which attract over 50 million users each month making it the second most successful company after Zynga.
According to the Chief Executive, Riccard Zacconi, the company has been “nicely profitable” since 2005 and has a good balance sheet. The company is considering a flotation in order to fund the next stage of its growth. Apax and Index Ventures, King.com’s backers are also seeking an exit.
Zacconi said that the company has not yet appointed a bank in order to trigger an IPO but they are “structuring the company so that if we want to take this opportunity next year we can do so.” He further commented that King.com would almost definitely be listed on Nasdaq, the US market which technology firms, such as Zynga and Facebook, prefer.
The company is planning on employing a further 100 members of staff in Europe by the end of this year including 40 in London. However, they wish to list in the US as there is a more established “culture of entrepreneurship” within the technology sector.
Zacconi said that “In Europe you have still a culture where, if your company fails, you have failed as a person. In the US, [it is seen as] important to fail in order to learn something.”
King.com’s games are all free to play; the company makes money through advertising and charging gamers for virtual goods and shortcuts through games. Over half of their traffic comes via Facebook and the company is now looking to take advantage of the smartphone market.