Espoo-based Rovio has received 42 million dollars in new investments. The firm is best known for its Angry Birds mobile game, which boasts some 100 million downloads. It plans to use the money to strategically expand.
Three American venture capital firms, Accel Partners, Atomico Ventures and Felicis Ventures participated in the new round of funding. Accel is well-known for their investments in such firms as Facebook and Real Networks. Atomico was founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, who will also be joining Revio’s Board of Directors. Felicis is an angle investor headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
“With Angry Birds, we have successfully launched not only a strong new brand, but also a whole new entertainment franchise,” says Revio CEO Mikael Hed. “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.”
Angry Birds has clearly been a big winner – Rovio has even sold 2 million plush toys – but the 50-person strong company has ambitions beyond one game.
“The investment will give Rovio wings,” says Zennström. “The company has an outstanding management team and is a category winner with huge potential, making it precisely the kind of company we like to back. Angry Birds is one of the fastest-growing online products I’ve seen, growing even faster than Skype, and the company has done a brilliant job of extending it across different platforms and merchandise. I’m really looking forward to joining the board and helping the team to fulfill its ambitions.”
The new venture capitalists may be joined by many other investors soon. Hed revealed to Talouselämä that he would like to take Rovio public on the New York Stock Exchange, maybe as early as next year.
Text: DAVID J. CORD, Helsinki Times