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Facebook and PayPal invest in Gojek, Argo AI works with Volkswagen, Zynga is to acquire Peak Games

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The first week of summer was marked by high-profile deals on the venture market, and the geography of deals extends from the American continent to South Asia, affecting a variety of verticals: today we will consider transport technologies and the game industry.

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

 International giants are investing in transport services in the Asian region, Volkswagen is investing in a self-driving vehicle and the casual games market continues to be actively redivisioned by its key players. Today we are discussing the consequences of these actions.


1. Zynga acquires Istanbul-based gaming studio Peak Games for $1,8 billion and this is the greatest deal of the company (Source)

Zynga acquires Peak Games

Peak Games is a gaming studio from Istanbul which is known for its popular Match-3 games named Toon Blast and Toy Blast which have 12 million DAU and total revenue from inaps over $600 million for all the time.

The American gaming giant Zynga has agreed to acquire the Turkish studio Peak Games for $1,8 billion while $900 million will be transferred in cash and $900 will go to the company’s account in Zynga shares. According to Crunchbase, the total investments at Peak Games is $18 million.

For Zynga, this deal will be a leap in the market outside the United States. According to company forecasts, with the acquisition of Peak Games DAU of the games will increase by 60%, and total revenue will reach $1,84 billion. The deal will be officially closed in the third quarter of 2020.

What does it mean? This means that Zynga was unable to take a leading position in its Match-3 segment and decided to acquire a very successful developer from Turkey Peak Games with the coolest hits Toon Blast and Toy Blast. The crazy success of the guys from Playrix is ​​haunting everyone, now a large redistribution of the casual market is nearing completion. It is interesting that this is the second deal with Peak Games, last time Zynga bought Spades Plus and Gin Rummy Plus card games for $100 million. It is strange that they did not acquire other casual games back then in 2017, the deal price would be much lower.


2. Volkswagen invested $2,6 billion in the Pittsburgh-based startup Argo AI which will enter the European market (Source)

Argo AI works with Volkswagen and Ford

Argo AI company specializes in self-driving vehicles. In 2017, the startup received $1 billion of investments from the Ford Motor Company and began testing autonomous cars in several cities in the United States.

With an investment of $2,6 billion from the Volkswagen Group, Argo AI will become truly international: now operations and testing of vehicles will be carried out in European cities. In addition, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) will be absorbed into Agro AI and become the company’s European headquarters in Munich.

What does it mean? The world is preparing to completely abandon manual driving! And the two giants decided to share the costs by investing in the leader of autonomous intelligent driving company Argo AI, which is developing a virtual driver system and high-definition cards designed for Ford and Volkswagen cars. Perhaps in the near future, automakers will shift the focus from "create faster and more reliable” and begin to think about how to entertain a person while he gets from point A to point B. Well, companies that work like Uber may not take into account the driver's labor in the future by completely abandoning human labor.


3. Facebook and PayPal joined Series F financing round of Gojek South Asian startup (Source)

Facebook and PayPal invest in Gojek

Gojek was launched in 2015 as a transportation service. During this time, the startup has grown to a multi-profile company, today it is a “super application” and a single access point to a huge number of services: from transportation to food delivery, messaging, e-payments and loyalty programs. The application is used by more than 170 million people and the number of performers is more than a hundred thousand.

Google, Alphabet and Tencent have already been noted among Gojek's investors. The startup’s current F round amounts to $3 billion of investments in total, in March the amount was $1,2 billion. Facebook and PayPal did not disclose their checks. CB Insights experts estimate the value of Gojek at $10 billion today.

What does it mean? It would seem like an ordinary Uber deal, of which there were already a lot, but pay attention to who is investing — Facebook and PayPal — and in what they are investing. In fact, the deal kills 2 birds with one stone: companies are strengthening their position in the world of transportation in Indonesia (which is a market of 240 million people) and at the same time are promoting their fintech services and communication services in the promising Internet market. This transaction was a strategic step for the development of WhatsApp payment services in the region: paper money is still strong in the country. Indonesia is the largest Asian market for Facebook.



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