Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
Kabam, the San Francisco-based online gaming company, is now worth $700 million based on a recent sale of $38.5 million worth of current and former employees’ common stock, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The company says none of the money raised will go to itself. In a statement reported by WSJ, Kabam CEO Kevin Chou said he believed the company’s 700 employees should benefit from its growth.
Kabam has been one of the fastest-growing online game companies in the US with revenue of $180 million last year, an increase of 70 percent from the previous year. This was largely due to the success of Kingdoms of Camelot, a social strategy game which found an enormous audience both on Facebook and through Apple’s App Store.
The game maker has been tipped to announce an initial public offering (IPO) this year, but in the WSJ report, a Kabam spokesman declined to elaborate on any such plans. The report noted that Chou has previously said he expects an IPO by the end of 2014.
Kabam’s quiet climb upward is a refreshing change from the bad news plaguing fellow social game-maker Zynga recently. The company, which listed in 2011, has been facing a litany of problems — including a massive write-down following its purchase of rival company OMGPOP and declining interest in its games, which have led to investors being consistently disappointed by lackluster revenue and often missed profits.
The WSJ report notes that unlike Zynga, which has been slow in transitioning its business to mobile devices and reducing its reliance on social networking sites, Kabam has been steadily shifting its business away from such sites and in December said only 30% of its revenues now come from Facebook customers.
In April, Kabam established a $50 million fund dedicated to helping Japanese developers bring their games to Western markets.
Headline image via Thinkstock
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.