Friday, September 2, 2011

Rovio's 'Angry Birds' Valued at $1.2 Billion

The Telegraph: Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment is in talks to receive a major funding injection that would value the Finland-based technology group at around $1.2bn (£740m).

Although no names have officially been put on the table, likely partners include Fifa developer Electronic Arts, Farmville creator Zynga, and media giants News Corp and Disney, according to Bloomberg.

“I can see how Disney would take ‘Angry Birds’ and turn them into a theme-park ride and a movie,” said Michael Pachter, managing director of research at Wedbush Securities. “Zynga could take ‘Angry Birds’ and make it into ‘FarmVille.’”

Angry Birds, in which gamers fire a range of birds at green pigs who have stolen their eggs, has been downloaded more than 300m times since its launch in 2009, and is one of the most successful smartphone apps of all time.

Originally released for the iPhone, Rovio has added versions for Android and Nokia, as well PCs and Macs. The famous birds and their porcine rivals have also been turned into a range of toys, fridge magnets and even a clothing range.

In March, Rovio received a $42m funding injection from investors including Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström's Atomico, as well as Facebook backer Accel Partners. Rovio chief Mikael Hed has also said that he wanted to take his company public in "the next few years".

"We probably want to be in a marketplace that is as liquid as possible, which would probably mean Nasdaq is our stock exchange of choice," Mr Hed said in March.

Angry Birds made its Google+ debut this week, alongside other social games including Bejeweled and Zynga Poker. Users will now be able to "share game updates with friends, participate in leaderboards, and brag about their achievements", Rovio said.

No comments: