Edit: King has now officially filed for IPO after publishing this article.
According to rumors, Sweden looks like it's going to be net neutral when it comes to tech IPOs in the near future. Game developer King might be putting off their speculated public offering, while it looks like Spotify is recruiting a U.S. financial reporting specialist to get ready for a share listing.
The Telegraph reports that King, the creator of the massively successful Candy Crush Saga, as well as Pet Rescue Saga and other sugar-sweet scandinavian narrative prose, might be delaying their Initial Public offering "amid fears that the flagship game has been 'too successful.'" (edit again: King has filed for IPO)
The real fear here is that investors look at the success of Candy Crush Saga and compare King to Zynga, creator of once massively popular Farmville. In Zynga's case, their hit game pushed up their IPO price, and when the had trouble finding repeat success and transitioning to other platforms.
The company has yet to mention anything about an IPO, but the big tip off here is that the company is looking for an External Reporting Specialist based in Stockholm at the company's headquaters, but focused on preparing the company for "International financial standards".
Previously Spotify head Daniel Ek has told media he intends to keep the company private, but putting preassure on Spotify is likely the $538 million in total funding the company has raised since being founded in 2006. Most recently, Spotify raised a $250 million round last November.
For timing the company also has to show investors a potential for further growth. The company reports it has 24 million users in 55 markets. Of these users, six million are paid subsribers, suggesting Spotify can see more growth in their current markets, where they can eek out more revenue, or expand their reach into more difficult and larger BRIC markets where the company will likely rely on ad-based revenue.
Reuters quotes some 'senior banker' that says the firm should be vauled at $7-8 billion. The previously mentioned funding round was rumored to value Spotify at $4 billion.
In general, we're behind almost any IPO since we're tired of hearing about Nordic companies getting acquired by slightly larger U.S. competitors, instead of the other way around. To people on the playing field I'm sure an exit is an exit, but to us on the sidelines we're ready for the song and dance surrounding a public offering to start leading the discussion around this region's startups.
Zendesk has been teasing us for a while. Rovio looks content to stay a private company. Supercell exited. King and Spotify look like our next chances here up north.
flight of stairs image by shutterstock