Chernin Group, Newhouse's Advance Invest $200M in Mobile Game Company Scopely

Star Trek Fleet Command-Scopely Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Scopely

The Culver City-based game maker recently acquired FoxNext Games from Disney.

The Chernin Group (TCG) and Advance, the investment company founded and run by the Newhouse family, which owns major stakes in Charter Communications and Discovery Inc., have invested $200 million of Series D funding into Culver City-based mobile game company Scopely.

As a result of the investment, a representative from Advance will join Scopely’s board of directors while a TCG representative will now serve as a board observer. UBS Investment Bank served as exclusive financial advisor to Advance and Paul Hastings LLP served as its legal advisor on the investment.

The new funding follows the $200 million in a round of Series D financing led by NewView Capital, with participation from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Baillie Gifford last October. In January, Scopely acquired FoxNext Games from Disney. Most recently, the mobile game company was valued at $1.7 billion.

“When we first announced our Series D funding late last year, a number of discussions with strategic partners who share our vision for the future of interactive entertainment were ongoing,” said Walter Driver, Scopely co-founder and co-CEO. 

"The FoxNext Games acquisition reinforced our commitment to M&A, and the opportunity to partner with Advance and TCG was a welcome addition to further support our strategy,” added Javier Ferreira, co-CEO.

TCG has previously invested in Scopely, participating in the company's seed and Series A financings in 2012.

“The Scopely team has outperformed expectations consistently for the nine years we have been an investor," said Jesse Jacobs, co-founder and partner at TCG. "We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with Walter, Javier and the team as they execute on their mission of building one of the world’s leading interactive entertainment companies. As the traditional media industry continues to go through unprecedented change, we believe that Scopely has all the ingredients for tremendous success — exposure to games (the fastest-growing sector in media), a scalable and durable technology platform, a diversified set of well-known IP, an attractive economic profile and a team hyper-focused on execution and long-term success.”

Scopely has seen significant growth in the past year, crossing the $1 billion mark in lifetime revenue and leasing 60,000 square feet of office space in Culver City, more than doubling its current footprint in the area. Last May, Scopely acquired DIGIT Game Studios, the Dublin-based developer that created the company's Star Trek Fleet Command title and in September announced its expansion into the Asia-Pacific market, hiring former Walt Disney Company exec Justin Scarpone to build a presence for the company in Japan.

Alongside Star Trek Fleet Command, Scopely's current roster of games includes licensed titles from franchises and brands such as Looney Tunes, The Walking Dead, WWE, Yahtzee and Wheel of Fortune. Most recently, the company launched Scrabble Go on mobile devices worldwide.