European-based gaming and monetisation technology company to establish global entertainment destination
- Funds secured for continued fast-pace growth in 2021, through acquisitions and platform innovations that will increase footprint, improve overall experience and security of global userbase.
- Company to step up its funding strategy and explore potential IPO route to boost growth and platform expansion.
- Azerion’s vision is to play a key role in creating a safer and more positive digital destination that eliminates the risks of user-generated, negative or fake content.
AMSTERDAM – December 14, 2020 Azerion Holding B.V. (Azerion), a pan-European gaming and adtech company, has just concluded a EUR 12.5 million add-on capital raise. This brings the total to EUR 72.5 million in senior secured bonds raised under its existing EUR 100 million bond issue framework. The framework was set up in March this year, just before the first pandemic wave hit Europe. The company will use the proceeds to enrich its digital platform with an even wider variety of quality games, entertainment and monetization features, both organically and through acquisitions.
Atilla Aytekin, co-founder and CEO: Our successful initial EUR 60 million bond issue in March this year was a unique deal in many ways. We were a non-listed Dutch company issuing bonds to institutional investors for the first time and doing so in the Nordic market, which remained closed for the next two months due to the pandemic. We were the last ones to issue bonds successfully here, which revealed a high level of investor confidence despite dramatic market circumstances.
This strong investor appetite along with the positive feedback we received during our roadshows this year confirm our strategy and vision. We intend to use this strong position in digital gaming and adtech to grow and expand our platform with adjacent services. Ultimately, we want to create a safe, connected and intelligent ecosystem around Azerion that will accelerate the growth of European technology companies connected to our operations.
We’re proud to have grown fast and responsibly in a more closely regulated market, with transparent products and services that are built in line with fair business principles and user protections. We are in the process of sharpening our long-term funding roadmap to ensure that we continue our fast-pace growth for the coming years and ultimately realise our vision.
Azerion experienced fast growth from the beginning, with a CAGR of 125% between 2015 and 2019. Performance during the first nine months of 2020 was also very strong and underlines the platform’s power and propensity to drive growth. Revenue during this time period increased to EUR 139 million and this growth was almost entirely organic.
While overall growth was held back by lower digital advertising spend due to the pandemic, this was more than offset by the surge in gaming during lockdowns, which saw significantly higher contributions from in-game purchases, in-game advertising, subscriptions, direct downloads and partnerships. A prime example of such a partnership is Playtime, a new and secure family-friendly gaming platform joint venture with Talpa: Talpa Gaming, powered by Azerion.
Adjusted EBITDA came in at EUR 15.5 million (11% margin) for the first nine months of 2020. With the fourth quarter, which is typically the strongest quarter in the season currently underway, we expect full year 2020 group revenue and adjusted EBITDA to reach approximately EUR 215 million and EUR 25.5 million (12% margin), respectively.
People around the world are increasingly seeking meaningful and fulfilling interaction through online connections, which will continue to provide tailwinds to Azerion’s platform. The company will continue to focus on increasing its user base and driving top line growth with a fast-pace expansion strategy that utilises both organic growth and acquisitions to scale.
Scale is the main driver of cross-selling opportunities, synergies and margin expansion. Acquisitions are initially focused on quality casual games and digital entertainment concepts, as well as digital advertising solutions that will enrich and expand the platform. Azerion will continue to invest in content, technological innovation, gaming platforms, and new markets in order to provide a safe, reliable user experience for people of all ages.
In 2021, the company will step-up the funding strategy and explore a potential IPO in the not-too-distant future, to fuel growth, expand its platform and to ultimately realise its vision.
Azerion is a fast-growing and leading pan-European digital gaming and adtech company. We develop and operate a safe and reliable online social gaming and entertainment platform for people of all ages to enjoy. Our integrated platform includes monetization features and provides technology solutions to automate the purchase and sale of digital advertising for media buyers and sellers. Content creators, publishers and advertisers work with us to reach millions of people across the globe that play our games and use our entertainment concepts to increase engagement, loyalty and drive e-commerce.
Founded in 2014 by two Dutch entrepreneurs, Azerion has experienced rapid expansion thanks to organic growth and strategic acquisitions. In 2019, the company generated EUR 183 million in revenues. Azerion employs more than 850 employees across 24 offices and is headquartered in Schiphol-Rijk, the Netherlands.