A year after its acquisition by the Chinese consortium led by game developer Giant Interactive, for $ 4.4 billion, Playtika announced today the acquisition of the Israeli gaming company Jelly Button for tens of millions of dollars.
Founded in 2011 by Alon Lev, Moti Novo, Ron Saranga, Ron Rajuan and Mor Shani, devoted game lovers, and owner of Pickled Studio “Chamutzim” (in Hebrew). Jelly Button Games has raised just $1.5 million to date in a seed round led by the Kaedan Capital Fund and self-financing by the founders.
Over the years, the company, which specializes in casual gaming, have gained more than 80 million downloads and now employ about 80 people in its offices in Tel Aviv.
A former Israeli company, Playtika, was sold a year ago to a consortium of Chinese companies led by developer Giant Interactive for $ 4.2 billion. The seller was American gaming giant Caesars Entertainment Corp, which in 2011 acquired 51 percent of it for only $180 million. Since then, Playtika has been keen to buy game companies and add their games to its portfolio. Jelly Button is its 10th acquisition since 2012.
The acquisition is part of Playtika’s strategy of diversifying its games catalog and leading the table games market.
Among the most popular brands of Playtika are Slotomania, House of Fun, Caesars Slots, Bingo Blitz, WSOP, Vegas Words and Poker Heat, which are consistently ranked as the most profitable games on Apple’s App Store, Play Google and Facebook. Over the years, the games have accumulated hundreds of millions of players’ installations in 190 countries, 12 languages and 10 platforms.
Playtika’s three leading games were acquired shortly after they were launched: World Series of Poker, Bingo Bliltz, and House of Fun. All three games are regularly rated as the most profitable games in the applications stores of Google, Apple Inc., and Facebook.
Playtika cofounder and CEO Robert Antokol said, “Since our first acquisition in 2012, Playtika has been successful at identifying promising products and teams and leveraging our marketing, monetization, and analytics capabilities to materially grow our acquired businesses. Jelly Button has exactly that – a great team and great products – and we are excited to take Jelly Button’s games to the next level.”
“As an Israeli company and a mobile games company, we have long been amazed by Playtika’s success. This is an incredible opportunity to leverage their resources and expertise in monetization and combine them with our creativity,” said Jelly Button CEO, Ron Saranga. “Ultimately, the biggest beneficiaries of this transaction are our players.”