AppLovin Made Over $1 Billion Last Year

By Bruce Harpham Friday, March 12, 2021

AppLovin, a video game company, made over $1 billion in sales last year. Founded in 2012, the entertainment business filed IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March. The IPO means video game investors will have to decide whether to focus on AppLovin or Roblox this year.

AppLovin CEO and co-founder Adam Foroughi.

AppLovin by the Numbers

The video game business has disclosed various KPIs, or key performance indicators, in its S1 filing with the SEC.

  • Revenue Growth. The company reported $1.45 billion in revenue in 2020. That revenue achievement is even more impressive when compared to the company’s 2018 revenue of $483 million.
  • Daily Active Users. The business has more than 410 million daily active users. In contrast, Twitter, a social media company, has approximately 187 million daily active users as of January 2021.
  • Global Presence. The business has users and developers in more than thirty countries. Additionally, the business opened its first office in Europe in 2014 and has expanded to more than a dozen international offices.
  • Close to Profitability. AppLovin has a profitable business model. The company achieved a positive net income of $119 million in 2019. Unfortunately, the company slipped into a loss position of $125 million net income in 2020. 
  • Investing Heavily for Growth. The video game company has positioned itself for future growth by investing heavily in R&D (research and development) and sales and marketing. In 2020, the company invested $180 million in research and development, a massive increase over the $16 million invested into R&D in 2018.

When it comes to making money, the video game business uses advertising and other related strategies. Geisha Tokyo, a video game company based in Japan, has used AppLovin to increase advertising revenue by 100% in a short period.

The Most Popular Games on AppLovin

AppLovin’s success is fueled by a diverse portfolio of popular video games. For example, the company has word-play-themed games like Word Buddies, Word Connect, and Word Stacks. Also, the business has games based on established franchises like Final Fantasy XV made by Machine Zone. Founded in 2008, Machine Zone has produced multiple popular games such as Game of War: Fire Age, Mobile Strike, and World War Rising.

The video game platform has also grown by convincing developers to switch to AppLovin. Hyper Hippo, the video game business that produced AdVenture Capitalist, switched to AppLovin and generated more revenue.

Sustaining Growth After the Pandemic?

Like Netflix and Disney+, video game companies have had a good pandemic experience. Fundamentally, the digital entertainment business model has benefited from a temporary fall in competition. According to SensorTower research, the mobile game market grew 26% last year to $79.6 billion.

Investors have already started to signal their view that so-called “stay at home” stocks like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) will go more slowly. The Netflix stock price closed at $523 on March 11, down from a 52-week high of $593. The Zoom stock price closed at $347 on March 11, down from a 52-week high stock price of $588.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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