As Zynga impresses, rival mobile-gaming shop Jam City looks to list via SPAC

While it would be nice to write about something other than yet another tech company looking to list via a SPAC, the deals keep dropping, so our more traditional fare of covering startup trends will remain on hold for at least one day more.

This morning, we’re looking at the Jam City deal to merge with DPCM Capital. Jam City is a bit like Zynga, but unless you are a mobile-gaming aficionado, you might not have heard of it.

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You likely have not heard of DPCM Capital, either, but you know more about it than you’d think.

As Jam City notes in a release, the SPAC is “led by Emil Michael.” Michael is most famous for his time at Uber, where he served as chief business officer. He left the firm, as The New York Times wrote in 2014, after a board-called “investigation into [the company’s] culture and business practices” led to a “recommendation for Mr. Michael to exit Uber.”

He’s the gentleman who floated the idea of funding a team to “dig up dirt” on Uber’s “critics in the media,” as BuzzFeed News reported in late 2014.

Regardless, we’re not here to go back through Uber and its various cultural messes. We’re here to dig into the Jam City SPAC deck to see if the company is similar to Zynga. Why do we want to know that? Because Zynga has done great in recent quarters, including posting¬†record revenue and bookings in the first three months of 2021.

With lots of folks stuck at home in the last year, gaming has done well in aggregate. And mobile gaming is a huge chunk of the larger gaming world.

More broadly, why do we care about Jam City’s SPAC transaction? Because the mobile gaming concern has raised more than $300 million, including a $145 million round in 2019 that TechCrunch covered here.

The company attracted capital from Austin Ventures, Netmarble, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan Chase while private, per Crunchbase, so we’re very curious if Jam City has enjoyed a Zynga-like last few years and how it’s being valued as part of the SPAC deal. Let’s find out.

Jam City’s SPAC transaction

When Jam City raised that huge 2019 round, co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe said that the “global mobile games market [is] consolidating.” At the time, the company intended to use some of its new funding to acquire other mobile gaming companies.