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Published: June 4, 2021

Written by: Hannah

  • Skillz announces Aarki acquisition in a bid to boost its reach in the competitive mobile gaming ecosystem
  • Skillz has achieved its success basing it on combining the popularity of mobile games with a competitive element
  • The company has paid out over $33 million to esports athletes in the past decade, making it one of the most rewarding casual gaming experiences out there

Esports gaming platform Skillz continues to expand and push for a greater reach through a new acquisition of marketing company Aarki. 

Aarki Becomes Part of Skillz’s Strategy for Growth

Skillz continues on an upward trajectory with the company securing a landmark deal to acquire Aarki, a leading technology-driven marketing platform. Skillz, which focuses on bringing value to competitively-minded players, will use Aarki’s own expertise in advertising and outreach to boost its offer and expand the existing competitive mobile ecosystem it supports. The deal is valued at $150 million which will be paid both in cash and stock.

Aarki’s offer is particularly important to Skillz as the company has a wide reach in the mobile gaming market, which is Skillz’s main focus. “The company leverages its robust creative services, rich data engines, and proprietary machine learning algorithms to deliver industry-leading ROI for performance advertisers,” Skillz said in a press release, touting Aarki’s underpinning technology.

Commenting on the acquisition, Skillz CEO Andrew Paradise explained that Aarki would contribute to Skillz’s first-party data adding for a highly beneficial environment for game developers. All of this should lead to “new points of connectivity” between consumers, developers, brands, and more.

Aarki was similarly pleased with the news, and Aarki CEO Levon Budagyan argued that both entities stood to benefit tremendously and offer their respective communities more advanced benefits.

Esports without the Glitz and Glory

Skillz has made a name for itself by introducing “casual gamers” to a more competitive, esports type of platform. While the titles featured by Skillz are not the current mobile esports blockbusters, they are still competitive and find their audience.

Skillz’s idea is actually very simple. The company realized that people love to compete and that mobile gaming ultimately outstrips the PC and console market, and they merged these two trends into one. As a result, Skillz’s top games feature unique titles, such as Solitaire Cube, 21 Blitz, Bubble Shooter Tournaments, and more.

Developers are free to participate, and pitch and players stand to win real money from honing their skills at some little-known title that manages to pull in a strong player base. This is how Skillz has awarded over 33 million to esports athletes in the past ten years. Even better, in 2019, the company reported that it had awarded $8 million in payouts to its top 10 athletes, a staggering accomplishment all by itself.

The news about Skillz’s acquisition of Aarki has sent the company’s stock up a bit. NYSE:SKLZ ticker went from $16.99 on June 1 to $21.23 on June 3. The stock is down from its peak in February when it reached $43.72 amid a global peak for esports stock.

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