Perth-based social gaming company Virtual Gaming Worlds (VGW) has recorded an incredible rise in business over the past year, as shown by their latest ASIC-submitted financial report.
Despite the onset of the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, revenues leapt a further 186% last year to hit $2.224 billion, bringing in an after-tax profit of $294.7 million (quadrupling from $72 million in 2019-20).
Increased revenue mainly came from the company’s Chumba Casino game (launched in 2012), and their newest staple, set up in 2018, Luckyland Slots.
The company paid out an incredible $1.56 billion in prizes to players of their games last year, plus $106M in merchant fees, spending $81 million on marketing, $64M in tax, $54M on staff costs and $21M on legal fees.
The business generated $365M of net cash inflows over the past year, and paid $211M in dividends to shareholders.
Technically, the business operates out of Malta, but retains a significant footprint in Perth, with more the two hundred staff working from their William Street offices, overlooking Elizabeth Quay.
Set up in 2010 by founder/managing director and (since 2019) executive chairman Laurence Escalante, the business has grown at an astonishing rate over the past few years.
Two years ago, its revenues were around $350M, rising to $778M last year, and now more than $2.2B this past 12 months.
The Chumba Casino game alone tripled its income over 2020/21 to more than $1.5 billion, with Luckyland Slots adding a further $350M to hit $450M in revenue, and Global Poker contributing $174M.
Fend off, their new social sports-themed game, was launched in 2019 and brought in $536K in revenues.
As at financial year end, the company had almost $300M of cash in the bank. Income per share was 48c, up from 13c the year before.
Together with Perth-founded Canva – now worth $55B – VGW shows that real businesses, of significant size, can be created fairly quickly, have an incredible capacity to create jobs and income on an almost unprecedented scale.
No overnight success, the VGW business has been built up over a decade, with incredible J-curve growth over recent years.
In fact, for other budding founders out there, here’s an Instagram from Laurence posted earlier this year, with some insight into the hardship in those ‘early years’, as compared to what it might seem from the outside:
kuyalee: “Here’s some of the stories in the iceberg. So many more buried in there. I’ll write a book one day.”
The information above was mainly taken from VGW’s latest financial report, as available from ASIC.