Turkish mobile gaming company valued at $2.75 billion

Turkish mobile gaming company valued at $2.75 billion

January 19, 2022: -Investors are betting the next big success story in gaming will come out of Turkey, even as the country endures a severe economic crisis.

Istanbul-based mobile game developer Dream Games has increased $255 million in a new round of funding, and the company told CNBC. Investors are now valuing the firm at $2.75 billion, nearly triple the $1 billion it was worth just six months before in its previous series of fundraising.

The cash injection was led by Index Ventures, which first backed the company in February 2021. Existing investors Makers Fund, IVP, Kora, and Balderton Capital participated in the round, while BlackRock joined as a new investor.

Mobile gaming and tech, more broadly, are proving to be a bright spot in an otherwise hellish economic landscape in Turkey.

Turks have faced soaring prices between a plunge in the lira’s value; the currency has fallen over 40% against the U.S. dollar in the previous year.

Some of this decline was fueled by geopolitical tensions, in addition to Turkey’s excessive trade deficit and mounting debts. But investors say the situation was exacerbated by an unorthodox monetary policy, with the central bank that cuts interest rates aggressively at the behest of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Dream Games was founded in 2019 by former executives at Peak Games, one more mobile gaming start-up acquired by Zynga for $1.8 billion. Zynga later agreed to be taken over by Take-Two Interactive in a $12.7 billion deal.

Turkey is home to some of the most valuable tech start-ups globally, with e-commerce firm Trendyol valued at $16.5 billion and online grocery start-up Getir worth $7.7 billion.

Soner Aydemir, Dream Games’ co-founder and CEO, has built a business even valuable than his last venture. He said that the success of Peak Games and other Turkish companies helping drive investor interest in the country’s burgeoning tech industry.

“In Turkey, we have thousands of talented young people,” Aydemir told CNBC in an interview.

In a similar vein, Getir has expanded its reach beyond Turkey into other markets such as the U.K. and America.

Aydemir said Dream Games is not that affected by volatility in the local currency as “99% of our revenue comes from outside Turkey.” He added that the company also looks after its employees, offering “competitive” salaries compared to other firms.

“There’s at least a single digital company in Turkey which is worth more than $10 billion, so it’s been a source of great talent for a long time,” Stephane Kurgan, the partner at Index Ventures who led the investment in Dream Games, told CNBC.

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Turkish mobile gaming company valued at $2.75 billion