January 15, 2021
Mobile gaming platform Playtika ($PLTK) began trading on the Nasdaq Friday in an initial public offering valuing the company at $1.88 billion, potentially making it the biggest IPO of the year so far.
The Israeli-based platform hosts a mix of casual and casino-themed games, with nine out of the top 100 games on Apple and Google Play, according to CFO Craig Abrahams.
In the lead-up to the public offering, the company benefited from a surge of interest in mobile gaming during the pandemic.
"During stay-at-home orders, people were looking for alternate means of entertainment during these tough times, and mobile gaming was one of the great places that they went for entertainment," Abrahams told Cheddar.
The company makes 97 percent of its revenue from in-app purchases, such as extra features bought within the game to extend or expand players' experience, and 3 percent from in-game advertising.
Funding from the IPO will support an ongoing growth strategy centered around acquisitions.
"There's a lot of opportunities in front of us," Abrahams said. "M&A has been a core part of our growth strategy."
He added that Playtika has made seven studio acquisitions over the last eight years and that the company is in a strong position to make another one in the near-term.
"We've always generated a tremendous amount of cash," he said.
Playtika is the first in what could be a full pipeline of game developers going public this year. Kids gaming site Roblox is planning a direct listing early in 2021, and mobile gaming conglomerate AppLovin is currently exploring a public option.
Updated on January 15, 2021, at 12:28 p.m. ET to reflect that trading was underway.