Unity Technologies, the developer of the wildly popular game engine that powers almost half of the gaming content on mobile, has today revealed that it has raised a hefty $400 million from U.S-based private equity firm Silver Lake. The fundraising round comes at a time when the company wasn’t actively looking for an investment.
Initially reported by Bloomberg, this development has been confirmed by Unity’s CEO John Riccitiello. This capital infusion values the company, which simplifies cross-platform app creation, at a massive $2.6 billion. This is a significant increase in the company’s valuation as it was previously valued at just $1.5 billion when it secured around $181 million back in July last year. This investment was led by DFJ (Draper Fisher Jurvetson) Growth
This investment was led by DFJ (Draper Fisher Jurvetson) Growth, with participation from a cohort of marquee investors, namely China Investment Corporation, FreeS Fund, Thrive Capital, WestSummit Capital, serial entrepreneur Max Levchin, and its largest backer — Sequoia Capital.
While the transaction still requires approval from certain regulators, it has already been decided that a massive chunk of investment will be utilized to reward long-time employees and help some early shareholders cash out. Talking about the same, Riccitiello said:
A big chunk of it is secondary and that’s because it makes sense to let employees buy cars. In terms of primary capital, we don’t ultimately need all that primary capital—the capital is safety when we’re investing to grow as fast as we are.
In addition, sources privy to internal developments, suggest that the company has conducted fundraising discussions with multiple investors besides Silver Lake. None of the rumored investors have been named because the sources aren’t authorized to discuss this transaction publicly. Unity, however, isn’t focused on upfront investments but on further development of its tools for upcoming tech innovations — AR/VR. And the company already has a headstart on this front, which Riccitiello describes as under:
The second act that I think attracts a lot of investors and investor interest is the fact that we have about 70 percent of AR and VR content built on Unity. We’ve got a first wave that is going really really well and we have a second one that is dominant.
Headquartered in California, Unity was founded by a trio of engineers namely Nicholas Francis, Joachim Ante, David Helgason in 2004. The company was set up with the primary goal of developing a cross-platform gaming engine which can democratize coding them and making them available to a wider audience. It has managed to crack the code and is now touching 2.4 billion devices that are being used by us on the daily. This has been made possible due to its extensive 1,400-member strong team, which is building a cohort of new 3D visual tools and partnerships to simplify their creation.