Takeaways from PlaySimple’s exit amid funding boom

The $360-million buyout of the casual gaming startup shows that entrepreneurs running profitable businesses have multiple alternatives for an endgame

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By 

Madhav Chanchani

July 05, 2021

5 Min Read

In a season of Unicorns and super-sized funding rounds, the $360-million sale of an under-the-radar casual gaming startup is a breath of fresh air. 

Sweden's Modern Times Group last week announced the buyout of Bengaluru’s PlaySimple, which makes word-related games such as crossword. The startup was founded in 2014 by former Zynga employees Siddharth Jain, Suraj Nalin and Preeti Reddy along with Siddhanth Jain, who previously worked at Walmart Labs. 

About 77% of the payment is in cash while the remaining 23% is being paid in MTG stock to the founders, who will be allotted a 5% stake in the listed company. The founders and the management team may make another $150 million in earnouts based on performance till 2025.

There are several reasons why the deal stands out.

Bigger Exit For Founders

PlaySimple’s founders and employees hold about 65% in the company. This means they will make about $234 million from the sale, not counting the earnout package. This pegs their cashout at almost double of the investors, who will collectively make a little over $120 million.

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