London outfit Tripledot raised a lot of money – and eyebrows – in its last funding round. In February, it banked $116m purely for M&A (a deal which also values the company at $1.4bn).
So we asked Tripledot CEO Lior Shiff the obvious question: what are you going to spend that money on?
“We like the idea of taking a great game or concept, helping it to scale and turning it into a great business,” he tells us. “We’re looking at different sizes for acquisitions, different scales, including larger ones.”
“We see ourselves as a ‘value add’ buyer,” he continues. “We don’t see ourselves as like, a holding company that will end up owning a bunch of studios. Some other buyers in the market take that approach and you know, that’s great for them – it’s just not who we are.”
“We want teams that have built a great game that we can turn into a great business. That’s the best way to summarise it.”
(A fun side note: Tripledot raised that money without leaning on a blockchain / NFT / web3 / metaverse play. “It was definitely not part of our fundraising process,” says Shiff. “We are watching, we are learning, but I guess… we might be fast followers in this space.”)
Shiff and his team already spent an undisclosed chunk of its budget on Live Play Mobile, the California-based maker of Live Play Bingo.
“I think they built something pretty remarkable,” Shiff tells us. “The game, the infrastructure of the live ops team, the hosts – for a typical developer like ourselves, we wouldn’t know how to go about it.”
“Down the line, I think that in having this tool in our arsenal we can expand the idea to existing or other forthcoming games,” Shiff continues. “But currently, the focus is really scaling the existing game because it has massive potential.”
Shiff also boldly stated that Tripledot would like to be “the next Activision Blizzard” in February’s funding announcement. Does that mean it also plans to build out a Call of Duty or Candy Crush-sized IP?
“We will try to build a large, multi-year, multi-decade franchise, that is important,” says Shiff. “Some of the games we soft launched recently, they’re more IP driven. So we’re going in that direction, but we’re still early in that journey.”
2022 has already been a spectacular year for games industry M&A, but Shiff says it has left mobile in a “weird, interesting” space.
“Obviously Zynga got acquired and Playtika is now going through a process,” he adds. “I think it will leave a little bit of a void…I think the market needs a great mobile public company – I think it’s good for the ecosystem to have, like, a poster child.”
“We would love to be that,” he adds. “We’re definitely not there yet. But I think we’ve had a good start.”