Australia-listed gaming firm iCandy raises $29m in Animoca Brands-led funding

Australian Securities Exchange. REUTERS/Steven Saphore

iCandy Interactive, an ASX-listed mobile games and entertainment group, has announced raising A$40 million (about $29 million) from institutional investors led by gaming major Animoca Brands, via an oversubscribed placement.

In a disclosure, iCandy said proceeds from the placement will be used in part to finance its 100% acquisition of Lemon Sky Animation and for general working capital.

iCandy has its core business in the development and publishing of mobile games and digital entertainment for a global audience.

Lemon Sky Studios, on the other hand, is a video game and animation studio behind some acclaimed titles, including Call of Duty – Infinite Warfare, Overwatch 2, SimCity, Diablo 3, and StarCraft.

The studio has worked with gaming industry leaders such as Blizzard Entertainment, Naughty Dog, 2K Games, Square-Enix, Bandai Namco, Microsoft Studios, EA Entertainment, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

iCandy’s acquisition of Lemon Sky Studios creates the largest pure-play game development company on the Australian Stock Exchange with more than 450 employees, as per the disclosure.

The acquisition, valued at $32.4 million, will be fulfilled through cash and newly-issued iCandy shares.

“We now have this unparalleled capability in the region, we will focus a fair bit of our newly-gained superpower to make high-quality games for the metaverse, arguably the most important development for the gaming world,” said iCandy Interactive chairman Kin W. Lau.

According to data cited by the company, the global video game industry was estimated to be worth $156 billion in 2020, with the Asia Pacific region leading the industry at 49% of the worldwide market.

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands, the lead investor in iCandy’s latest funding, raised $65 million in its funding round in October at a pre-money valuation of $2.2 billion.

The company and its subsidiaries offer a broad portfolio of game products, both centralised and decentralised, branded and original, with coverage across most primary platforms.

It also led the $5-million Series A funding round in Talon, the Hong Kong-headquartered competitive gaming, entertainment, and culture brand. Animoca is an existing investor in Talon, having participated in the startup’s seed round in 2018.

Other investors in the Series A round included Hana Digital Transformation Fund, HZL Capital, AK Partners, Token Bay Capital, Foxmont Capital Partners, Arete Capital Asia, BlackPine, Yieldly, PAC Capital, and several family offices.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.