Unity Technologies, maker of Pokemon Go’s game engine, raised a series C round last month, around the time Pokemon Go had started a sensation among gamers. Within weeks, pitches for Unity shares available on the secondary market started moving across China’s most popular messaging app.
A WeChat group of more than 100 people interested in augmented reality technology received a message in mid-July, seen by The Information, asking if anyone was interested in buying an interest in San Francisco-based Unity. A second message about Unity shares was sent to the group last week, with an accompanying slide deck outlining details of the investment and publicly available information about the company. Investors could buy an interest in a MarketX fund that would buy stock owned by existing shareholders, the slides said. It’s common for investors and employees to sell shares in private tech firms on the secondary market.