obile games platform Skillz said Wednesday it is going public via a merger with special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp.
The deal has an implied equity valuation of $3.5 billion, or 6.3 times estimated 2022 revenue, the company said in a statement. The move would make it the first mobile e-sports platform to go public, CNBC reports.
"Today we're a leader in casual esports and are well positioned to capture the global esports opportunity which will increasingly define the gaming market," said Skillz Founder and Chief Executive Andrew Paradise. “Skillz fulfills the human desire for community and competition and is shaping the future of interactive entertainment.”
“Becoming a public company is an important milestone for Skillz,” added Paradise. “We look forward to accelerating growth as we work with our developer partners to bring Skillz-powered competitions to every kind of game for billions of gamers worldwide.”
The CEO and chairman of Flying Eagle is Harry Sloan, who was a founding investor and board member of ZeniMax Media Inc. in 1999, the creator and publisher of interactive entertainment and its Bethesda Game Studio. Sloan is partnered with Jeff Sagansky and Eli Baker, who together took DraftKings public in April. “I’ve been active in the evolution of gaming for 20 years, from ZeniMax to DraftKings, and I believe Skillz has positioned itself as the platform for the future of gaming, where entertainment, gaming, and enablement converge,” said Sloan.
Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, a two-time winner of CNBC’s Disruptor 50, Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, and the #1 fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000.
Skillz is expected to power more than 2 billion esports tournaments in 2020 and facilitate $1.6 billion in paid entry fees for games hosted on its platform. Mobile is currently the fastest-growing segment of the gaming market and is expected to grow to $150 billion by 2025 from $68 billion last year, said the statement, citing data from Newzoo and GlobalData.
Skillz will have cash of about $250 million after the deal closes, and will use the proceeds to expand in the U.S. and international markets, support marketing and for working capital. The deal is expected to close in the fall. Flying Eagle shares rose 10% premarket and are up 7% in the last three months.