NEW YORK, June 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Skillz, Inc. f/k/a Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp. (“Skillz” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SKLZ) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and docketed under 21-cv-04662, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants that purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly traded securities of Skillz between December 16, 2020 and April 19, 2021, inclusive (the “Class Period”). Plaintiff seeks to pursue remedies against Skillz and certain of the Company’s current senior executives under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
If you are a shareholder who purchased Skillz securities during the Class Period, you have until July 7, 2021 to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 7980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.
Skillz is an internet tech company that was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Skillz provides a proprietary gaming platform for mobile gaming users and developers. It connects players worldwide by hosting fee-based competitive eSports games on its platform. Skillz also provides an integrated “developer console” for its game developer customers that enables them to create, rapidly integrate and monitor the performance of their games on Skillz’s platform. According to Skillz, its gaming platform “allows us to deliver gaming experiences that our player community trusts and loves and ‘levels the playing field’ for every developer. We believe we are re-inventing competitive mobile gaming and thereby expanding the mobile gaming market. Our technology platform aligns the interests of developers and gamers with respect to user monetization, instead of putting them at odds.” Skillz revenue is derived exclusively by taking a percentage of player entrance fees in paid contests. In 2013, Skillz was kicked off of the Alphabet Play Store. Android users must know how to use the Android Store or manually install the games.
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants disseminated false and misleading statements and omissions that materially misrepresented Skillz’s purported financial condition and prospects. These materially misleading statements and omissions included representations relating to certain of Skillz’s business operations, performance metrics and ultimate valuation, including, among others, Skillz’s ability to attract new end-users, future profitability, the shrinking popularity of its hosted games that accounted for 88% of its revenue, and the Company’s valuation. For example, one of the Company’s objectively unrealistic promises included the unsupportable claim that the Company was valued at $3.5 billon, based on revenue projections in excess of $550 million for 2022. However, the Company failed to inform investors that downloads of the games that account for a majority share of its revenue have been declining since at least November 2020. In reality, the Company’s prospects for attaining that revenue scale was far from realistic given its size, market share, reliance on third-party app stores, declining downloads of its most popular games and, critically, the enormous amount of incentive Bonus Payments that Skillz routinely provides to its gamer customers, a fact that investors were misled about. These Bonus Payments are routinely provided to its customers, who are expected to use them for game entry fees, which, in turn, artificially inflates Skillz revenue.
Skillz offers Bonus Cash in order to incentivize users and gamers to engage with their platform. However, Skillz’s disclosure is materially incomplete since it fails to disclose that Bonus Cash boomerangs back into the revenue stream. Essentially, Skillz has the ability to offer millions of dollars in Bonus Cash and simultaneously report millions of dollars in revenue. Had this buried information been candidly disclosed, investors would have had a more somber picture of the Company’s growth potential.
Skillz’s bullish market pronouncement misled investors into believing that the Company was well-positioned for rapid long-term growth. As one research analyst later described the result of Skillz’s strategy, “[i]ts just a pretty little piece of ice in the water until you hit it and found out it’s an iceberg.”
That iceberg hit investors just four months after Skillz was taken public. On March 8, 2021, Wolfpack Research released a report titled, “SKLZ: It Takes Little Skill to see this SPACtacular Disaster Coming” (the “Wolfpack Report”). The Wolfpack Report alleges that the growth speculations that Skillz and its insiders had touted were “entirely unrealistic.” The Wolfpack Report alleges that Skillz’s top three games, representing 88% of Skillz’s revenue reported a decline in downloads since the third quarter of 2020. It states that three games Skillz relies on for 88% of its revenue, produced by two developers, Tether Studios and Big Run Studios, had begun to decline prior to Skillz going public. Downloads of these games all declined by 52% (21 Blitz), 40% (Solitaire Cube), and 20% (Blackout Bingo) in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Wolfpack Report concluded that Skillz buried this decline in downloads and revenue in its disclosures while continuing to tout massive future revenue growth.
The Wolfpack Report also reveals that Skillz is not taken seriously by industry experts because Skillz’s platform is not robust enough to handle synchronous play and international matchmaking. Skillz is also banned from the Alphabet Play Store, a major conduit for game developers. The Wolfpack Report also shows that Skillz has a history of boasting about future partnerships that either do not have tremendous value, or never amount to anything. Lastly, the Wolfpack Report alleges that CEO Paradise is not as experienced as Skillz purports to claim and in fact has been involved several failed businesses.
Upon release of the Wolfpack Report, Skillz stock plummeted 10.9% to close at $24.45, down $3 from the previous day. This decline represented close to a $762 million loss in market value.
Soon thereafter, on March 15, 2021, a Twitter user known as “@Restrinct” published a report highlighting issues with Skillz’s unsustainable business model, unrealistic growth projections and tremendous sales and marketing spending.
Finally, on April 19, 2021, Eagle Eye Research posted an anonymous report on Twitter in which it claimed that, through the use of providing users with incentive Bonus Payments, “the company likely recognizes substantial non-cash revenue, and  cash revenues may be less than ½ of GAAP revenue”. On this news, SKLZ shares declined 6.61% to close at $14.11 (a decline of $1 from the previous day) on April 19, 2021 and shares further declined the next day to an all-time low of $12.55. The decline represented $254 million in loss of investor value.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com
Robert S. Willoughby
888-476-6529 ext. 7980