PUBG-Maker Krafton May Go Public, Valuation Estimated at Over $27 Billion

By Avi Ben Ezra Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Krafton, the maker of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) video game, is eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) later this year that could become the biggest public debut in South Korea ever.

A One-Hit Wonder?

Kim Chang-han, the CEO of Krafton and one of the most popular Asian coders, said his company could secure billions of dollars in the share sale. According to Eugene Investment & Securities, the business could reach a valuation of up to ₩30 trillion ($27.2 billion) after the IPO. Tencent Holdings, one of the world’s largest tech companies, is the second-biggest shareholder in the company.

In 2015, Kim sold his startup to Krafton Inc., which he then joined as an executive producer. In 2017, Krafton launched PUBG, which quickly became one of the most successful games in history, with more than 70 million sold copies for PC and consoles, while the mobile version of the game registered over 600 million.

Convinced by Chang-han, game designer Brendan Greene also joined the project and moved to South Korea to become PUBG’s creative director. In June last year, Kim Chang-han officially became the new CEO of the company.

“My role is to help Krafton become a globally recognized game company, capable of creating masterpieces as successful as PUBG. I will also consolidate the reputation Krafton has as a true maker of masterpieces by establishing an appropriate environment and by fostering and recruiting talents,” Kim said.

In October 2020, it was reported that Krafton is preparing for an IPO as it hired Mirae Asset Daewoo to lead an initial public offering planned for 2021. In addition, banking giants such as Credit Suisse Group AG, Citigroup Inc., and JP Morgan Chase & Co. were also hired to assist in the process.

However, some in the gaming industry are concerned whether Krafton was just a “one-hit wonder,” according to Mr. Han Kim, general partner and one of the founders of Altos Ventures Management, which holds a stake in Krafton.

"I think the more important thing is how the company can utilise the intellectual property of PUBG and how it can make that into an even bigger franchise," he said.

Summary

Tencent-backed Krafton, the company behind the popular PUBG video game, and has continued its preparations to file for an IPO that could see the video game company become one of the largest companies in South Korea.


About the Author

Headshot for author Avi Ben Ezra

Avi Ben Ezra is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Cofounder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.

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