Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ:GLUU), a leading global developer and publisher of free-to-play games for smartphone and tablet devices, today announced that the company will invest up to $7.5 million in promissory notes convertible into a minority equity stake inPlain Vanilla Corp. Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, Plain Vanilla is the developer behind the globally popular game QuizUp, which boasts more than 40 million registered users and 5 billion games played. Launched in November 2013, QuizUpbecame at the time the fastest growing app on the App Store ever. Daily users spend on average more than 30 minutes per day on the app.
Glu and Plain Vanilla plan to join efforts to focus on the development of the QuizUptelevision program. Under development in partnership with NBC Universal and previously announced at Cannes in October 2015, the companies hope to bring theQuizUp show to TV viewers worldwide. The program format will be centered around audience interaction and is expected to drive significant downloads of the QuizUpmobile app.
“With over 40 million registered users and counting, QuizUp is a global trivia phenomena that is developing into an interest-based social network. I look forward to joining QuizUp’s Board of Directors and sharing Glu’s deep expertise in advertising, in-app purchase optimization, analytics and user acquisition. Having focused thus far on building a large and engaged user base, QuizUp will now benefit from Glu’s involvement to begin driving effective and sustainable monetization,” said Niccolo de Masi, Glu Chairman and CEO.
“In addition to cross-selling opportunities between Glu’s games and QuizUp’s user-generated interest groups, we are excited that Plain Vanilla is in development withNBC around what we expect will be an innovative new game show.” de Masi continued, “If our partnership proves out and QuizUp revenues scale, Glu will evaluate whether to exercise its call option to acquire the business.”
“In 2015 alone, QuizUp became a trivia network focused on social interaction, opened its topic creator to its entire user base, and announced both NBC’s and ITV’s order of the primetime trivia show, QuizUp America,” said Thor Fridriksson, founder and CEO of Plain Vanilla. “We look forward to leveraging Glu’s publishing resources and expertise to expand QuizUp’s audience through new mobile and multimedia initiatives this year.”
QuizUp’s transformation from a mobile trivia app to an interest based social network positions it to benefit from growth in myriad industries and interest areas. The introduction of My QuizUp has extended the platform’s use cases to communities for classrooms, companies, sports teams, and the entertainment industry. Plain Vanilla is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including Nordic Startup of the Year 2014, a TechCrunch “Crunchy” for Fastest Rising Startup 2014 and a “Webbie” for Best Mobile App of the Year 2014.
As part of this investment, Niccolo de Masi is joining the Board of QuizUp and Glu has a call option to acquire Plain Vanilla for 15 months from the closing of the initial investment at a pre-agreed price. The companies intend to partner in monetization of QuizUp’s sizable and diversified global audience of daily active users through cross-promotion, increased in-game advertising and new game features. (Original Source)
Shares of Glu Mobile Inc closed yesterday at $2.22. GLUU has a 1-year high of $7.03 and a 1-year low of $2.04. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.60 and its 200-day moving average is $4.08.
On the ratings front, Glu Mobile has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 28, Cowen analyst Doug Creutz reiterated a Buy rating on GLUU, with a price target of $5, which represents a potential upside of 125.2% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Craig-Hallum’s Mitchell Bartlett maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $4.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Doug Creutz and Mitchell Bartlett have a total average return of 9.6% and -10.0% respectively. Creutz has a success rate of 43.8% and is ranked #537 out of 3579 analysts, while Bartlett has a success rate of 33.3% and is ranked #2884.
The street is mostly Neutral on GLUU stock. Out of 7 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Hold rating and 3 recommend to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $4.23, which implies an upside of 90.5% from current levels.
Glu Mobile Inc develops, publishes & markets games designed to appeal to users of smartphones & tablet devices. Its gaming brands include Blood & Glory, Contract Killer, Deer Hunter, Eternity Warriors, Frontline Commando, Gun Bros, & Heroes of Destiny.