Espoo, Finland — 10 March, 2011 — Rovio, the creator of the Angry Birds entertainment franchise, today announced a $42m Series A investment in the company to facilitate its strategic expansion.
Currently, Angry Birds is played by 40 million monthly active users, and the game has grown from an App Store success to become one of the most recognized entertainment franchises in just over a year.
The funding round was co-led by Accel Partners, the venture capital firm known for working with fast-growing companies including Facebook, Groupon and AdMob, and Atomico Ventures, the venture capital firm created by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström. Leading super angel fund Felicis Ventures also participated.
Niklas Zennström, who also co-founded Kazaa and Rdio, will be joining the board of Rovio.
Rovio has ambitious plans that the investors endorse and will facilitate. The investment will transform Rovio’s growth, allowing it to increase its reach internationally, and across markets including mobile, social media and other platforms, and via merchandising and media production and partnerships.
“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. “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.”
“The proliferation of touchscreen smartphones and tablets has lead to a huge growth in demand for mobile entertainment”, said Rich Wong, Partner at Accel Partners. “These growth trends are changing the entire media field, and Rovio is perfectly positioned to drive this change. We believe this is just the beginning.”
“This investment will give Rovio wings,” said Niklas Zennström, CEO and Founder of Atomico. “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 passionate consumer response to Angry Birds has been nothing short of a phenomenon, proving that the powerful consumer experiences can win dedicated players across all demographics,” said Aydin Senkut, Managing director of Felicis Ventures. “We’re very proud of the amazing success that the Rovio team has experienced since we began working together last summer.”
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% 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. Currently, Rovio is busy expanding Angry Birds to even more gaming platforms and forms of media. The company has earlier announced plans to roll out an online Angry Birds experience towards summer 2011, as well as developing Angry Birds games for all major consoles later in the year.
To stay up-to-date with ongoing news about Angry Birds, please visit us on our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/angrybirds.
Rovio is an entertainment media company based in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise. Rovio was founded in 2003 as a mobile game development studio, and the company has developed several award-winning titles for various mobile platforms. In 2009, Rovio released Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game for touchscreen smartphones that became a worldwide phenomenon from 2010 onwards. The Angry Birds games have enjoyed continuing worldwide chart success, and the franchise has since expanded to a variety of new business areas. Rovio is rapidly expanding its activities in broadcast media, merchandising, publishing and services. For more information about Rovio, go to www.rovio.com.
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners is a leading global venture capital and growth equity investment firm. Accel today manages over $6B globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, London, New Delhi, Bangalore and China through our partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including Facebook, Groupon, ComScore, AdMob, Etsy, Kayak, Macromedia, MetroPCS, Playfish, QlikTech, Rapt, Real Networks, Redback Networks, Riverbed, SunRun, UUNet, Veritas, Walmart.com, and others. For more information, please visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accel.
About Atomico Ventures
Atomico is a leading international venture capital firm formed in 2006 by Niklas Zennström, a successful serial-entrepreneur and co-founder of Skype, Kazaa, Rdio and other companies. Atomico seeks to deliver outsized returns to investors by being the partner, and investor of choice, for fast-growing technology companies that will become global category winners. It has to date invested in more than 40 companies on three continents, and in March 2010 launched its second fund, the $165m institutional fund Atomico Ventures II. Atomico is headquartered in London with teams in São Paulo and Hong Kong. For more information: http://atomico.com.
About Felicis Ventures
Founded by Aydin Senkut, Felicis Ventures is a super angel fund based in Palo Alto, California. It is focused on supporting the best and brightest technology entrepreneurs with capital, mentorship and connections. Felicis Ventures’ portfolio is comprised of leading mobile and consumer Internet companies including Aardvark (acquired by Google), Bump, GeoAPI (acquired by Twitter), Inkling, Meraki, Mint (acquired by Intuit), Milo (acquired by eBay), Practice Fusion, and Tapulous (acquired by Disney). For more information, visit www.felicis.com.
For more information, please contact:
(+358) 45 134 2965
Rich Wong: Twitter @rich_wong
Kerstin Lampkin:[email protected]
Guy Dennis: (+44) 7876 751600
Originally published at https://www.atomico.com on March 10, 2011.