bne IntelliNews – Russian game maker Nexters updates its 2021 financial guidance ahead of its Nasdaq listing later this year

Nexters, the top five independent game makers of Russian origin, which is preparing to go public on the Nasdaq later this year, updated its financial outlook for 2021 based on existing and new titles in 2021 on July 1. .

The company, which is best known for its “Hero Wars” game, has been relatively untouched by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continues to see sales increase, although it has had to revise its guidance for 2021 and beyond. beyond as a result of the pandemic.

“Mobile gamer behavior has seen no negative change since the start of 2021. Gamer spending has continued to increase as average monthly bookings per paying user increased 7% in Q1 2021 compared to Q1. quarter of 2020 and reached $115,” the company said in a statement.

Nexters is an international game development company that strives to bring the joy of basic gaming experiences to casual gamers. Thanks to successful games such as Hero Wars, Throne Rush and others, the company has reached more than 100 million installations worldwide and has become one of the.

Founded in 2010 and now based in Cyprus, Nexters has become one of the top five independent mobile game companies in Europe. It has a team of over 500 game developers and continues to develop commercially successful games for international audiences.

Nexters generated $318 million in net bookings and $120 million in free cash flow for Equity in 2020; the expected continued growth of Hero Wars and new mobile game titles launching in 2021 are expected to increase net bookings to $562 million in 2023, after platform fees.

“Nexters has achieved unparalleled profitability and growth, growing its net bookings 10x in two years to reach $318 million in 2020, while remaining well diversified across major gaming markets. In 2020, 35% of net bookings from company were from the United States, 23% from Europe and 19% from Asia,” the company said on its website. “Nexters aims to become the leading consolidator in the games space in Russian-speaking countries, Eastern Europe and beyond, capitalizing on the significant market opportunity while deploying its proven game-building playbook. value to support the businesses it acquires.”

Nexters’ total bookings in the first quarter of this year reached $113 million, up 15% from the same period of 2020, leading to estimated revenue growth of 48% year-on-year, according to preliminary estimates .

Its flagship Hero Wars RPG was downloaded 36 million times in 2020 on iOS and Android alone, earning an average rating of 4.5/5 from its users.

“Growth was supported by new marketing initiatives and user acquisition with projected returns on investment exceeding initial expectations, resulting in a 9% increase in monthly paying users,” the company said. company in a press release. “To capitalize on the growth in the first quarter, the company increased its marketing campaigns and achieved a 42% year-over-year increase in monthly paying users in April 2021.”

The strong performance at the start of the year allowed Nexters to significantly update its booking forecast for 2021, which is now expected to grow by 38% year-on-year to around $610 million for the full year.

“Our games won’t stop being fun when the pandemic ends,” Nexters CEO and co-founder Andrey Fadeev said. “On the one hand, we’re seeing continued growth from Hero Wars, a ‘forever franchise’ first released in 2016. On the other, we’re seeing promising results from new titles such as Chibi Island. Our strong performance new and well-established securities positions us well for our next scheduled Nasdaq listing,” he added.

On February 1, Nexters and Nasdaq-listed Kismet Acquisition One Corp, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), entered into a business combination agreement that will make Nexters a Nasdaq-listed company later This year.

the transaction values ​​Nexters at $1.9 billion and will be funded by approximately $250 million held in trust by Kismet, subject to potential buyouts, as well as the additional $50 million investment by SPAC sponsor Kismet Capital Group . The deal is expected to close in 2021, according to Nexters.

Founders Fadeev and Boris Gertsovskiy, along with other Nexters minority shareholders – including Playrix’s Igor Bukhman and Dmitrii Bukhman – will induct 92% of their stakes into the combined company and agree to a 12-month lock-up; Kismet Capital Group (through an affiliate) will invest $50 million in additional capital to ensure alignment with founders, existing shareholders and public investors, Nexters said on its website.

Kismet Acquisition One Corp. is the first SPAC set up by Ivan Tavrin, a TMT entrepreneur and the founder of Kismet Capital Group; Mr. Tavrin brings to this transaction his experience in mergers and acquisitions and public markets and will serve on the board of directors of the merged company as an independent director.

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