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We’d heard Rovio, the company behind the Angry Birds game franchise, was out in the market looking for cash, but never did we think that it would end up raising $42 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners and Atomico, the venture fund started by Skype’s co-founders. Leading super angel fund Felicis Ventures also participated. Niklas Zennström, who also co-founded Kazaa and Rdio, will be joining the board of Rovio.
The Rovio team met with me last year and talked about being wooed by many investors, including Hollywood groups. It’s good they held out; their valuation has only gone up in the time that has passed. The company, which has been raking in the big dollars for a long time, thanks to its cult hit game, Angry Birds, has plans to turn the game into a multi-channel franchise, hoping to become the Sponge Bob of the iPhone (s aapl) generation. The game currently has 40 million active users on various mobile platforms, and Rovio claims it has sold over 2 million plush Angry Birds toys. Clearly, as it expands to new channels, it’s going to need more money.
And while it still remains addictive as ever, the Angry Birds are finding that they have more competition in the market. Hopefully, the new money will help the Finnish company find yet another hit franchise. Watch this video to see the company CEO and the Mighty Eagle tell the Angry Birds story and outline their grand ambitions.
Video edited and produced by Chris Albrecht.