Valve Corp is a video game developer based in the United States. Valve stock is something we’ve been asked about frequently. Should you buy shares in Valve? Is it even possible to buy Valve stock?
Here’s what you need to know about the technology company, and about trading Valve on the stock exchange.
The story of Valve Corp is yet another that will try to convince college kids across the globe to drop out. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, Valve founder Gabe Newell dropped out of Harvard University before obtaining his degree.
Working at Microsoft under Bill Gates, the man spent thirteen years learning the ins and outs of computer programming. But more importantly, he learned about the software business, and what it takes to create a success.
In the summer of 1996, Newell was ready for something different. In August of that year he, along with his co-worker Mike Harrington, left Microsoft in order to start their own venture. Taking the millions they’d amassed from their work at Microsoft, they opened shop just five miles west of their mentor’s headquarters, and Valve was founded.
It took some time before the first game was released to the public. Harrington and Newell labored to create what would become their first game for nearly three years. Once it was released, Valve suddenly became a world-recognized name in software development; their first software release was a game called Half-Life.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a gamer, you’ve probably heard of Half-Life. The game, within four years of its release, had sold over 2.5 million copies. Its story, narrative and graphics earned it award after award.
So how is Valve doing now? Can you buy Valve stock? Is there any way to invest in the company? Unfortunately, no. You can’t buy Valve stock. In fact, it’s likely you’ll never be able to invest.
Valve Stock Exchange
Even now, more than two decades later, you won’t find Valve stock listed on the stock exchanges. Gabe Newell still operates as the President of the company, though now its Chief Operating Officer is Scott Lynch. Harrington left the company in 2000.
Newell and Lynch say that they have no plans to list the company on the stock exchanges. In short, they don’t need to. The company, as so many other privately owned companies, do, performs quite well without input from investors. To add the vote of shareholders to the list of corporate responsibilities would only complicate matters.
When companies issue an IPO, it can be for one of many reasons. Most commonly, an initial public offering will cash out the current shareholders, raising funds for the company and allowing that company to pay back its initial investors.
Another reason is if the FTC requires it. Simply put, the Federal Trade Commission sets a threshold for the number of private investors a company can have. This threshold is dependent on a few factors, including the worth of the company.
Valve meets neither of these requirements. It’s a successful company, and doesn’t need to raise money quickly. It’s been listed as the most profitable company, per employee, in the United States. Which brings us to the second reason: number of shareholders.
Valve Corp only employs around 360 people. Even if all employees were shareholders, that number would still be lower than the threshold set by the FTC, usually 500 depending on revenue.
So just how successful is Valve? What are its revenues, and what is the company projected to do? Let’s look at the future of Valve.
Valve Stock Ticker
Again, there’s no Valve stock ticker. And there likely never will be. The company is private, and therefore not required to release its financials to the public. Only companies which are traded on the stock exchange must release publicly accessible financial reports. Several choose to do so; Valve does not disclose.
But estimates have been made as to the value of the company. As far back as 2005, Forbes estimated that Valve had around $70 million in gross profits. In 2010, it was estimated that the company was growing, with revenues in the high hundred-millions. Now, the company is said to be worth over $2 billion.
We’ve covered other software and gaming companies on Buy Shares In before. We’ve looked at Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Rockstar and Bungie, and while all have been so successful, Valve is obviously very profitable.
What makes Valve so different from these other companies? Well, a few things. There may be no Valve stock ticker, but Valve operates in a smart way despite lack of investor input. Most importantly, Valve is no longer just a game developer. Valve is also the developer of Steam, the largest digital platform for game distribution. Steam holds 75% of the market share, and generates and estimated $3.5 billion in revenue as of 2016.
Buy Valve Stock
As you now know, it’s impossible to buy Valve stock. If you’re interested in buying stock in gaming companies, check out the investment guides in the black bar above. Some are privately held companies, but others are publicly traded like Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI).
Looking for something a little bigger? Check out a few of the blue chip companies. Of course, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is an option, as the company excels in both software and cloud computing. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is another. In fact, Facebook is possibly the most promising, as it’s set to venture out into virtual reality computing.
Amazon doesn’t focus on gaming, but the e-commerce giant perhaps does cloud computing and web services better than any other company on the stock exchange. You’ll find it listed on the NASDAQ under ticker symbol AMZN.
Should Valve stock become public, Buy Shares In will be the first to report. Check back frequently for the most recent news, updates and announcements regarding this successful software developer.