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First exit by EQT Ventures - sells stake in Small Giant Games at USD 700 million valuation

  • EQT Ventures sells its stake in mobile games company Small Giant Games to Zynga, a leading social games developer

  • EQT Ventures led a USD 5.7 million Series A round in March 2017 and an additional USD 41 million investment at the end of January 2018

The EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”) today announces that it entered an agreement to sell its ownership stake in the Finnish mobile gaming studio, Small Giant Games (“the Company”) to Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), a leading social game developer, headquartered in San Francisco, California. The implied valuation of the Small Giant Games transaction is at USD 700 million. EQT Ventures led a USD 5.7 million Series A round in March 2017 and then led an additional USD 41 million investment in January 2018.  

Founded in 2013, Small Giant Games’ team of 47 employees developed the hit franchise Empires & Puzzles. The game blends approachable Match-3 battles with deeper gameplay elements including Hero Collection, Base Building and Social Alliances. Just ten months after Empires & Puzzles’ launch in March 2017, the game had developed a strong new brand and loyal following, and Small Giant Games reported USD 33 million in revenues. In the first four months of 2018, the company had already exceeded 2017’s revenue. In addition, Empires & Puzzles has frequently made it into the the Top 10 Grossing Games on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and has now been downloaded more than 26 million times. 

In March 2017, EQT Ventures led Small Giant Games’ USD 5.7 million Series A round and has remained the largest individual owner in the Company since. Following the successful launch of Empires & Puzzles, EQT Ventures was dedicated to supporting the Company’s continued growth journey and, at the end of January 2018, the fund led an additional USD 41 million investment. During the investment period, EQT Ventures - with its team’s mobile gaming experience - supported the Company as it sought to scale Empires & Puzzles. 

Timo Soininen, CEO at Small Giant Games, commented: “Our studio has always believed that small, focused and talented teams with a big vision can achieve huge things. EQT Ventures has supported us from the start - not just with capital, but also strategic advice and guidance. The EQT Ventures team’s extensive mobile gaming experience and entrepreneurial mindset has proved invaluable when scaling Empires & Puzzles and we’ve enjoyed working closely with Lars and the rest of the team. I’m confident that partnering with Zynga is now the right next step in our evolution.”

Lars Jörnow, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Ventures, concluded: “Huge congratulations to Timo, Markus, Otto and the rest of the Small Giant team – this is a well-deserved milestone for everyone at the company. The Small Giant team checked all the boxes for EQT Ventures: small, passionate, agile, data-driven and determined to build a global hit game. The EQT Ventures team would like to thank Small Giant Games for letting us be part of their journey - it has been a true partnership and we look forward to the next phase!”  

Contact
Lucy Wimmer, Communications Partner, EQT Ventures, lucy@eqtventures.com, +44 7551 289 177
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT Ventures
EQT Ventures is a multi-stage VC fund with commitments of just over EUR 566 million. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has investment advisors stationed in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco and Berlin. Fuelled by some of Europe’s most experienced company builders and scalers, EQT Ventures helps the next generation of entrepreneurs with capital and hands on support. EQT Ventures is part of EQT, a leading investment firm with more than EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 28 funds.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About EQT
EQT is a leading investments firm with more than EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 28 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About Small Giant Games
Small Giant Games was founded in early 2013 with the belief that small, talented teams can do extraordinary things. We bring years of experience to the table, with a crew of top players in game development, software engineering and graphic design. We’re based right in the heart of downtown Helsinki, Finland.

More info: www.smallgiantgames.com