Gumi, one of Japan’s leading mobile gaming companies has finally gone public. Hironao Kunimitsu, founder of the seven-year-old company hinted at Startup Asia Singapore 2014 that an IPO would happen this year. According to the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s big board, the listing will occur on December 18.
During Startup Asia Singapore, Kunimitsu was quizzed about his company’s value. After being caught flat-footed in the evolution of feature phones to smart phones, Gumi overcame its struggles and has been on a roll recently. At the time, Kunimitsu would only cryptically acknowledge that the firm’s value could be north of US$300 million.
The answer is a mystery no more. Gumi will peg shares at JPY 3,300 (US$28.43) each. According to its disclosure documentation, that will bring the market cap up to US$890 million.
The Japanese yen is currently being battered against the US dollar. That is unfortunate news for Gumi because, if this IPO had occurred even three months earlier, the gaming company would be Japan’s latest unicorn.
Gumi might still get there however. To become a unicorn using USD as the base currency, Gumi only needs to drive its stock price up JPY 400 (US$3.44). Judging by the company’s newly released business record, the firm is on a strong upward trend. From 2013 to 2014, Gumi doubled its revenue to US$96.2 million. The firm is still in the red but the net loss for fiscal year 2013 was only US$1.3 million, nearly 90 percent lower than the previous fiscal year.
Given the volatility of the gaming industry, Gumi might lose its unicorn status just as quickly. Kunimitsu is looking to be the rare company to buck that trend. Promising tie-ups with Line,Sega, and the opening of a new Canada office, are all moves that can help Gumi stay on top in the boom or bust industry.