Israel's Moonactive buys Belarus gaming co Melsoft

The Israeli mobile games developer could pay as much as several hundred millions dollars in a strategic deal.

Israeli mobile games developer Moonactive has acquired Belarus casual games developer Melsoft Games. Melsoft has 240 employees, most of them in the Belarus capital Minsk although the company's headquarters is in Cyprus. Financial details about the acquisition were not disclosed but it is a strategic deal that could be worth several hundred million dollars.

Melsoft was founded in 2007 and initially focused on PC games but also began to develop mobile games in 2012. Its two most prominent products are adventure games MyCafe and Family Island. The acquisition announcement said, "Melsoft is undergoing rapid growth and has annual revenue of $160 million."

In the first stage, Moonactive plans keeping Melsoft as an independent unit.

Moonactive was founded in 2011 and has more than 650 employees including 500 at its headquarters in Tel Aviv. The company also has a large development center in Kiev and an office in London. Moonactive is best known for its Coin Master smartphone social game, which was launched in 2015 and has had its most successful year in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic and worldwide restrictions have boosted gaming and according to the Sensor Tower research company, Moonactive's revenue from Coin Master has doubled in 2020 to $1.1 billion. Sensor Tower ranks Coin Master as the world's fourth largest money earner, not far behind Pokeman Go in third place.

Moonactive raised $10 million from investors like Gigi Levy-Weiss, Or Ofer, Jonathan Kolber, and Adam Neumann. At the start of the year shareholders sold a 10% stake of the company for $125 million, at a company valuation of $1.25 billion.

The challenge Moonactive is to develop another blockbuster game. This year the company says it has hired over 350 new employees and expects to hire hundreds more in 2021, "to support growth and the development of new games."

Moonactive CEO and founder Samuel Albin said, "Our target is to become the world's most successful mobile gaming company and we are preparing to grow and expand our portfolio by developing new games and through acquisitions.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on December 23, 2020

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