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.