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Epic Games rival Unity files to go public, sales topped $500 million last year

Unity CEO John Riccitiello speaks onstage during Day 1 of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 at Moscone Center on September 5, 2018 in San Francisco, California.

Steve Jennings | TechCrunch | Getty Images

Unity Software, a company that produces a 3D gaming engine that powers video games and other programs, filed to go public on Monday. The company is planning to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol U. Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are the lead underwriters on the share sale.

The company’s timing is good. Not only have U.S. market indices returned to records, but one of Unity’s top competitors, Epic Games, is also challenging Apple in court in a dispute over e-commerce features in Epic’s own Fortnite game that violated Apple’s App Store rules. The controversy could put Epic’s Unreal Engine, which rivals Unity’s technology, in jeopardy.

Unity’s technology is widely used. In 2019 more than half of the top 1,000 games in the App Store and Google’s Play Store were built with Unity, the company said in Monday’s filing. In addition to offering the game engine for development, Unity derives revenue from service that can help companies monetize their content, including through advertising. Customers include BMW, EA, Microsoft, Niantic, Sony, Tencent and Zynga.

The company had a $163.2 million net loss on $541.8 million in revenue in 2019. While the loss widened from $131.6 million the year before, revenue grew 42%. For the first six months of 2020 Unity wound up with a $54.1 million net loss on revenue of $351.3 million, with losses narrowing from $67.1 million one year earlier. 

Unity was founded in 2004 and is based in San Francisco, with 3,379 employees as of June 30. Investors include DFJ, Sequoia Capital and Silver Lake Partners.

WATCH: Former White House chief technology officer on the Apple App Store battle with Epic Games

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