This is Part 3 of Brazilstrat’s series about the Brazilian Unicorns. Links to the other parts can be found here: “Part 1 – Introduction and Summary”; “Part 2 – Nubank”; “Part 4 – iFood”; “Part 5 – Loggi”; “Part 6 – QuintoAndar”; “Part 7 – Ebanx”; “Part 8 – Loft”; and “Part 9 – Gympass”.
Brazilstrat is a boutique consulting firm specializing in assisting growth companies with interest in the Brazilian market. Located in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, we work with clients who have a business model we believe stands a good chance of success in Brazil, and who operate in an area where we can add significant value through our own experience and network.
Are you considering a Brazil market entry for your growth company, or do you want to know more about Brazilstrat and our reference projects? Contact us to schedule a call.
Wildlife Studios is a top 10 global mobile gaming company with 2 billion downloads around the world of its 70+ games – including hits such as Sniper 3D, Colorfy, War Machines, Zooba, and Tennis Clash. Operating with a freemium model where users can choose to spend money within free games, the company was founded by the Brazilian brothers Victor and Arthur Lazarte at their parents’ house in São Paulo in 2011. Both engineering graduates from the University of São Paulo (USP), Arthur also got additional degrees from École Polytechnique and ISAE-SUPAERO in France before spending one year as a researcher at McGill University in Canada, and another at BCG in São Paulo. Victor, who is Wildlife’s CEO, also built on his USP education in France with two years at CentraleSupelec before spending a year at JP Morgan in London working as a credit trader.
In December 2019, a $60 million financing round led by San Francisco-based venture fund Benchmark Capital gave Wildlife unicorn status, with a $1.3 billion valuation. The round also included VP of VR at Facebook, Hugo Barra, who had already been a friend and mentor of the company for years; Barra’s fellow executive at Facebook, Javier Olivan; co-founder and CEO at Red Ventures, Ric Elias; partner at Ribbit Capital, Meyer Malka; partner at ICONIQ Capital, Divesh Makan; San Francisco-based VC firm Human Capital; São Paulo-based GE32 Capital which is founded by Florian Hagenbuch and Mate Pencz of Loft; and Redwood City, California-based Bessemer Venture Partners.
Prior to the round, Wildlife’s only outside investor had been Bessemer Venture Partners, and growth, averaging 80% annually for the previous six years, had mainly been financed by cash flow from operations. According to Victor Lazarte the main purpose of taking Benchmark’s investment was to form a strategic partnership with the fund considering their track record and alignment with Wildlife’s management. The investment nevertheless facilitated accelerated growth, allowing Wildlife to plan for an increase from 500 to 800 employees in 2020 across offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Dublin, San Francisco, Orange County, and Palo Alto. This coincided well with the overall mobile gaming market which as of December 2019 grew at an annual rate of 26%, already accounting for more than 50% of the $140+ billion gaming industry.