March 18, 2011

Angry Birds Creator Sets Sights on IPO


It’s not every day that a mobile gaming company launches a buzz-worthy IPO but that could be what’s in store for Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds.

In a short interview with Finnish business magazine Talouselämä, Rovio Board Chairman Kaj Hed made his ambitions clear: “We're aiming to be as large as Facebook (News - Alert) or Google.”

Those words would be nothing short of braggadocio if not but for Rovio’s recent $42 million funding round. As reported by Talouselämä, VC firms Atomico (News - Alert) Ventures, Accel and Felicis Ventures participated in the funding round, acquiring about 15 percent of the company. That lends Rovio a valuation at around $281 million, according to ArcticStartup.

“With Angry Birds, we have successfully launched not only a strong new brand, but also a whole new entertainment franchise,” said Mikael Hed, CEO and co-founder of Rovio, in a press release. “Angry Birds will continue to grow, and we aim to create more similar success stories. We will strengthen the position of Rovio and continue building our franchises in gaming, merchandising and broadcast media.”

Currently, Angry Birds is played by 40 million monthly active users. Rovio recently announced that sales of Angry Birds plush toys have passed 2 million units. The commitment and retention rate of Angry Birds fans remains high, as does the demand for Angry Birds virtual goods: 40 percent of new customers on the iOS platform purchase the Mighty Eagle downloadable content. Rovio has been expanding steadily through 2010 and 2011, and has 50 employees in Espoo, Finland.




Edited by Janice McDuffee