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UPDATE 3-KKR-backed gaming firm AppLovin targets $30 billion valuation in U.S. IPO

(Adds listing details, background)

April 7 (Reuters) - Mobile app and gaming company AppLovin Corp, which is backed by private equity giant KKR & Co Inc , said on Wednesday it was aiming for a valuation of more than $30 billion in its U.S. initial public offering (IPO).

The company was looking to raise as much as $2.13 billion by selling 25 million shares at a price range of $75 to $85 per share. It had hired Morgan Stanley to lead its IPO, Reuters reported last year. The Palo Alto, California-based company is the latest player in the mobile gaming industry looking to cash in on the surge in demand for video games from people staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past 18 months, firms including DraftKings Inc , Playtika Holding Corp and Roblox Corp have taken the market route to raise capital.

At a 2018 tech summit hosted by 3Q Digital and Google, Chief Executive Adam Foroughi had said when the company was founded in 2012 as an advertising platform for mobile games he struggled to raise capital as venture capitalists did not believe in his vision.

AppLovin now has over 410 million daily active users on its platform and its apps consist of more than 200 free-to-play mobile games, including Word Connect, Slap Kings and Bingo Story.

It posted a net loss of around $126 million last year, compared with a net profit of $119 million in 2019. Its revenue surged 46% to $1.45 billion in 2020.

AppLovin will be listed on the Nasdaq and will trade under the ticker symbol “APP”.

Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, KKR, BofA Securities and Citigroup are the lead underwriters for AppLovin’s offering. (Reporting by Sohini Podder and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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