The number of startups in Türkiye continues to increase day by day in an ever-widening range of industries, with the latest addition to the list of Turkish unicorns coming from the software industry.
The software startup Insider has now become Türkiye's first software unicorn with a valuation of over USD 1 billion, after raising USD 121 million from the US-based private equity firm Riverwood Capital LLC, Sequoia Capital LLC, Esas Private Equity, 212 Capital Partners, Wamda Capital and Endeavor Catalyst Inc. in a Series D funding round held by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Insider has raised a total of USD 168 million funding to date.
In his social media post, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank said, “Insider has become Türkiye's first software 'Turcorn' (Turkish unicorn). Our country's software ecosystem is building up every day."
Insider employs more than 500 employees and operates 25 offices across five continents with a portfolio of over 800 brands, including UNIQLO, Singapore Airlines, Marks & Spencer, Estée Lauder, Virgin, Samsung, Carrefour, Dominos, Toyota, Newsweek, Avon, MediaMarkt, IKEA, and CNN.
On the M&A side, SciPlay Corporation, US-based developer and publisher of digital games on mobile and web platforms, has acquired a 80 percent stake in Türkiye's Alictus, a global developer and publisher of popular, casual mobile games, for USD 100 million in an all-cash deal. The transaction is set to advance SciPlay's strategy to become a diversified global game developer, with the company planning to acquire the remaining 20 percent of Alictus over the next five years, according to the company's press release on the acquisition.
Türkiye's technology ecosystem is on a mission to make a name for itself, not only by raising unicorns and setting record levels of M&A deals, but also by boosting exports.
Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank visited Hacettepe Technopark-based Loop Games, whose exports topped USD 200 million with the hyper-casual game developed in three months with a team of 20 people. Commenting on the company's success, Varank said, “The team of 20 people sold a game they made in three months and brought USD 200 million in exports. Here is what we call the new economy, the value-added economy."