One of the market leaders in the Asia-Pacific region, iCandy is a developer and publisher of games for mobile devices, specialising in action puzzle games that have achieved over 17 million cumulative downloads globally.
With offices in Malaysia and Singapore, iCandy has in recent years enjoyed international growth, with several of its games – which include Crab War, Mobfish Hunters and Caveboy’s Escape – being recommended by major app stores across 30 countries.
Like iCandy, Inzen operates in the mobile gaming space. Inzen is focused on pursuing two complementary strategies; the first is to drive the innovation of mobile games across different cultures; and the second is to establish programmes to incubate new game companies in Southeast Asia. The proposed acquisition of Inzen is valued at $5.75 million (SG$6 million), to be paid in iCandy shares at an issuance price of the five-day volume weighted average price of the company’s stock at the closing of the transaction, with no change in shareholding control of iCandy.
To date Inzen has secured investment from major Asian institutions, including Japan’s Incubate Fund, Singapore’s hatcher and Global Mobile Game Confederation out of China.
In addition, Inzen has attracted investment and a strategic partner in the form of Baidu Games, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Baidu Inc. – one of the largest internet companies from China, listed on the NASDAQ with a market cap of US$63.75 billion.
Fatfish CEO and director, Lau Kin-Wai, said the acquisition of Inzen was an exciting step forward for the solidification of iCandy’s position as a market leader in the region.
“The acquisition will bring synergies across the game development and publishing businesses of both iCandy and Inzen. We believe it will provide iCandy with new avenues to publish games in the lucrative smartphone games market of China,” Kin-Wai said.
“In addition, the deal will allow Inzen to leverage iCandy’s network of more than 17 million mobile-gamers worldwide for publishing, as well as iCandy’s studio network for mentorship, co-publishing options and incubation initiatives.”
iCandy’s acquisition of Inzen will also see the two companies share some of Southeast Asia’s most accomplished human capital. Inzen’s founders are games industry veterans, with part of the core team at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab organisation, a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to incubate the next generation of games industry talents.
Inzen’s CEO, Gerald Tock, has managed a number of indie-game companies from startup to commercialisation, worked with Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) and held a tenure as the head of operations at MDA’s Game Lab.
The iCandy/Inzen deal is one that exemplifies that Fatfish encourages all of its investee companies to seek out and seal, as part of the company’s growth strategy.
Fatfish’s unique co-entrepreneurship model seeks an active involvement from its investee companies, from seed funding through to exit. In parallel, Fatfish aims to provide a collection of resources and expertise to support entrepreneurs in important areas such as business strategy, market access, talent recruitment, product development, and paths to funding and growth.
As an internet venture investor and company developer, Fatfish actively seeks strategic alliances with like-minded investment firms and incubators.
In August, the company formed such a one with Mountain Partners, a leading European company builder. Sharing similar visions of investing and developing fledgling internet businesses, the deal saw Fatfish become a partner of Mountain in Southeast Asia.
To facilitate Mountain’s entry into the Southeast Asian market, Fatfish sold a select portfolio of assets worth A$12.3 million to Mountain and entered into a joint venture – Mountain Asia – which Fatfish will be managing, Headquartered in Zurich, Mountain has been involved in the startup and funding of over 150 technology businesses in 22 countries, creating over 11,000 jobs.
“This proposed cross-continent partnership pays recognition to the strong capability of the Fatfish team in building and developing tech businesses in Southeast Asia,” Kin-Wai said. “Fatfish and Mountain, working together through the partnership, intend to be a leading player in the region.”
“The partnership provides a stronger global platform for both Mountain and Fatfish to work with a wider international network of resources to build global businesses on an accelerated pace.”