Score another win for Istanbul gaming startups: Dream Games raises $255M at a $2.75B valuation

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    The gaming companies in Istanbul are seeing an influx of new investment capital. Dream Games, the casual games developer behind the famous game Royal Match, said today that it had raised a $255 million Series C round of funding, valuing the company at $2.75 billion.

    It is headed by Index Ventures with Makers Fund and IVP joining forces, BlackRock funds and accounts, and Balderton Capital participating in this round. Both to continue investing in and growing Royal Match and work on the company’s next launch, which is scheduled later this year, will benefit from the cash.

    The financing highlights several unique patterns, including Games (and particularly casual games), are really coming into their own when it comes to venture to finance and adopting the development and strategy of startups right now; and, perhaps most crucially for this story, investors are pretty interested in joining in on the action as well…

    Interestingly, today’s announcement comes only six months after Dream Games secured $155 million at a $1 billion valuation (a round-headed by Index and Makers Fund), and just one day after another Istanbul-based games firm, Spyke, announced the closing of a $55 million seed round.

    Dream and Spyke have several genetic similarities: In all cases, the founders or senior team members at Peak Games, another game firm that Zynga bought in 2020 for $1.8 billion, were involved in the founding or development of the companies.

    Royal Match is now one of the most popular mobile games available on the market, with over a million downloads. It will be interesting to see how and if Dream Games responds to this development. According to what the company has stated in the past and continues to say today, those follow-ups may not necessarily take the form of other games released in rapid succession, but rather in the form of extending existing franchises and spreading new developments over the years rather than months, as a result of the reduced pressure to release new titles every month.

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    “We believe in Pixar’s methodology,” stated Soner Aydemir, co-founder and CEO of the company, in an interview in June. “When Pixar first began, the frequency was quite low, with a movie being released every 2-3 years, but the pace gradually grew.” It will be the same for us as well. For the time being, we must concentrate on Royal Match, but if we can find a method to develop additional games, we will.”

    As with Spyke’s belief that its most significant competitors may be the TikToks of the world, rather than other game companies, Dream sees the entertainment business as a more robust competitive threat than other games makers. They are competing with Dream in terms of publishing games and creating memorable brands, but they are vying for the same chunk of free time among customers as the latter.

    Investors are prepared to place their money on Dream Games because of its track record in garnering audiences thus far.

    As Stephane Kurgan, the Index Ventures partner and former chief operating officer of King, put it, “The success and growth of Royal Match surpassed all of our expectations.” “The success and growth of Royal Match exceeded all of our expectations,” he said. After just eight months, Royal Match has already established itself as one of the most popular mobile games of 2021. A unique mix of creative talent, technical knowledge, and a tireless work ethic has been collected by Dream Games to form one of the greatest teams in the business. They’ve already changed the conversation about what constitutes quality in mobile gaming, and we’re looking forward to seeing where they go from here.”

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