Game developer Nexters sees first-quarter revenue jump ahead of SPAC-enabled Nasdaq listing

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(Fixes company RIC in text)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Video game developer Nexters Global, which expects to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange this year via an agreement with a Russian special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), on Thursday estimated its first-quarter revenue rose by 48%.

The developer behind popular games Hero Wars and Throne Rush was founded in Russia in 2010 but is headquartered in Cyprus.

Like other gaming firms, it has seen sales rise during the pandemic.

Nexters in February entered into an agreement with the Kismet Acquisition One Corp SPAC to list publicly.

The transaction gave Nexters an enterprise value of $1.9 billion and should close in 2021.

Nexters estimated its revenue grew by 48% in the first quarter, with bookings up 15% to $113 million, it said in a statement.

This performance, it said, had allowed it to upgrade its 2021 bookings forecast, despite cautious expectations of post-COVID trends in the wider industry.

The company now sees 2021 bookings up 38% to around $610 million. It did not provide its previous forecast.

"Our games won't stop being fun when the pandemic ends," said CEO Andrey Fadeev.

Kismet, created by Ivan Tavrin, the former CEO of Russian telecoms firm Megafon, staged an initial public offering on the Nasdaq in August 2020, raising $250 million to invest in telecoms, technology, consumer goods and services.

Kismet in February said it would invest an additional $150 million in Nexters, one of Europe's top five independent game developers.

Nexters shareholders include its founders Fadeev and Boris Gertsovsky, and the founders of game developer Playrix, Igor and Dmitry Bukhman, who acquired a 43% stake in 2018.

(This story fixes company RIC in text)

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Mark Potter)

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