Investors are betting on the growth of gaming startups

February 27, 2020, 2:39 PM UTC

Investors are ga-ga for gaming.

Online gaming platform Roblox raised $150 million in Series G funding at a $4 billion valuation. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and was joined by investors including Temasek, Tencent Holdings Limited, Altos Ventures, Meritech Capital, and Tiger Global Management. The company will open a tender offer for up to $350 million of common and preferred shares. 

Roblox boasts 115 million monthly active users worldwide and more than 1.5 billion hours of monthly engagement. Creators have made tens of millions of games on the platform, and they get 30% of revenue from purchases made within their creations.

Oh, and here’s the craziest part! Roblox is profitable on a cash-flow basis and is expected to generate $1 billion in bookings this year. “As we get bigger, it is important to me that the balance sheet scales up,” Roblox CFO Michael Guthrie told The Wall Street Journal.

Investors have developed even more of an appetite for gaming lately. Epic Games, which developed “Fortnite,” and Niantic, which is behind “Pokemon Go,” each have valuations of more than $1 billion.

In November, Sapphire Ventures co-founder Doug Higgins told me that increased accessibility is the reason gaming has exploded so dramatically in recent days. “One in four people in the world play mobile games,” he said. “Kids these days want to be the next Ninja [a professional gamer], not the next Tom Brady.”

This is an industry that’s only heating up.

THIS JUST IN: DoorDash has confidentially filed draft IPO documents with the SEC. CEO Tony Xu stopped by Fortune’s offices two weeks ago and declined to comment on whether the company was considering going public in 2020. Read the story here. 

TO IPO OR NOT IPO: That is the question. My colleague Lucinda Shen dug into Intuit’s $7 billion acquisition of Credit Karma. Credit Karma had previously spoken of going public, but it ultimately decided otherwise. Lucinda notes that M&A has become more attractive as the appetite for initial public offerings has cooled. 

“Potential IPO candidates have watched these technology companies go to market and few have done well,” said Bradley Leimer, co-founder of Unconventional Ventures and an advisor to fintech startups. “Those considering an exit may look at what is happening now and say ‘it’s not a good market’ and are going to have to take a good deal.” Read more at Fortune.

MORE SOFTBANK CHAOS: The Wall Street Journal came out with a scorching story alleging that SoftBank Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra got his position by “striking at two of his main rivals inside SoftBank with a dark-arts campaign of personal sabotage.” It’s dramatic and full of bizarre details. I encourage you to read it and come to your own conclusions here.

A spokesperson for Misra gave Term Sheet the following statement: “These are old allegations which contain a series of falsehoods that have been consistently denied. Mr. Misra did not orchestrate a campaign against his former colleagues.”

Polina Marinova
Twitter: @polina_marinova


-, a Fremont, Calif.-based autonomous driving startup, raised $462 million at a $3 billion valuation. Toyota led the round. 

- K Health, a New York-based digital primary care service, raised $48 million in Series C funding. 14W and Mangrove Capital co-led the round, and was joined by investors including Anthem, Lerer Hippeau and Primary Ventures.

- Tractable, a U.K.-based developer of artificial intelligence for accident and disaster recovery, raised $25 million in Series C funding. Georgian Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Insight Partners and Ignition Partners. 

- Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artisanal ice cream brand, raised $18.7 million in funding. NextWorld led the round.

- Dahmakan, a Malaysia-based direct-to-consumer delivery-only food startup, raised $18 million in Series B funding. Investors include Rakuten Capital, White Star Capital, JAFCO Asia, GEC-KIP Fund, Woowa Brothers, Partech Partners and Y Combinator.

-, a San Francisco-based healthcare AI startup, raised $16 million in funding. Sequoia India led the round, and was joined by investors including MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia

- Lanes & Planes, a Germany-based business travel and expense solution provider, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Battery Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including DN Capital and Connect Ventures.

- Dray Alliance, a Lakewood, Calif.-based digital drayage marketplace that connects shippers and truckers for short-range delivery of shipping containers between ports and logistics centers, raised $10.2 million in Series A funding. Matrix Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Moving Capital, Craft Ventures, Act One Ventures, and Wonder Ventures.

- Made Renovation, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in technology-driven home renovations, raised $9 million in seed funding. Base10 Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Founders Fund and Felicis Ventures.

- Air, a workplace collaboration and cloud storage replacement tool, raised $6 million in funding. Lerer Hippeau Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including RedSea Ventures, Advancit Capital and WndrCo.

- Vitruvi, a Canada-based essential oils and home scenting company, raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. Harbinger Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Lyra Growth Ventures.

- Gridwise, a Pittsburgh-based developer of a peer-to-peer driver intelligence mobile app for rideshare drivers, raised $3.3 million in seed funding. Mountain State Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Switch VC, 412 Venture Fund, Quaker Capital, Blue Tree Allied Angels, and Reinforced Ventures.


- Arsenal Capital Partners acquired BresMed Health Solutions, a U.K.-based provider of health economic research, communications, and consulting services to the global pharmaceutical industry. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 


- Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest private healthcare operators, raised $701 million in an IPO of 52.5 million shares. Read more.

- Passage Bio, a Philadelphia-based biotech focused on rare, monogenic central nervous system disorders, filed to raise $125 million in an IPO. It has yet to post a revenue, and revealed losses of $45.6 million in 2019. Frazier Life Sciences (13.9%), Orbimed (19.6%), and Versant Ventures (14.8%), back the firm.  It plans to list on the Nasdaq as “PASG.” Read more.

- Credito Fondiario, an Italian bank and bad loan specialist, plans to grow larger before looking into an IPO. Elliot Management backs the firm. Read more.


- QED Investors, an Alexandria, Va.-based venture capital firm, raised $350 million for its sixth fund, Fund VI.


- Summit Partners promoted Scott Ferguson and Sergio Mur to principal; and Chris Bon, Olivia Ley and Jono Pagden were promoted to vice president.

- Kate Castle joined Victress Capital as a partner.

- Endicott Growth Equity Partners named Mike Chinn as a partner.

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