Kabam, the San Francisco-based social and mobile game maker that bought itself naming rights to UC Berkeley’s stadium, said it doubled its annual revenues to $360 million this year.
That gives another revenue benchmark for top-grossing game makers. Kabam, which made a hard pivot from Facebook to mobile a few years ago, has two games in the top grossing 50 on the iPhone in the U.S. For comparison, other top mobile game makers like Supercell reported making $2.4 million per day early last year. About 70 percent of Kabam’s revenues come from iOS and Android, while the remainder is from Facebook and a destination site at Kabam.com.
While the company is profitable, it’s not clear how profitable they are. They ended last year with $70 million on hand in cash, about $25 million up from the cash they had on hand at the end of 2012. But they also made some acquisitions too, like Exploding Barrel Games out of Vancouver, Canada.
The company is touting these numbers at an interesting time in the gaming industry. (Maybe this is for recruiting? To attract buyers? To keep investors aware of the brand if they ever decide to go public?)
Since Zynga went out to market in a late 2011 IPO and saw its valuation decline by more than half, no other big social gaming companies in Western markets have tested the waters with public investors.
There have been rumors that European gaming company King is exploring an IPO, but we haven’t heard about additional progress on this front. Meanwhile, Supercell found a very lucky and unusual deal when it sold more than half the company to carrier Softbank and Japanese gaming company GungHo for roughly $1.5 billion last year.
But most everyone else has decided to stay private. So there are several profitable, self-sustaining companies like Kabam and Kixeye waiting in the wings. To give its employees liquidity, Kabam held a secondary offering that let current and former employees, along with early investors, sell $38.5 million of their holdings. The company, which has raised more than $125 million in venture funding, was valued at $700 million in this last round.