Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures to co-drive new fund

Angry Birds group secures $42m investment

Finnish studio Rovio has secured $42 million in a surprise investment round.

The round is led by Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures. As part of the deal, Atomico Ventures founder Niklas Zennström will be joining the board of Rovio.

In a statement Rovio said it had ambitious plans that its investors "endorse and will facilitate”.

The studio added: “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.”

Rovio’s breakthrough project, Angry Birds, is thought to have made $70 million in App Store sales, ad revenues and merchandise royalties. The game, Rovio’s 52nd, was suggested had cost $140,000 to build.

The investment round, if accurate, has come as a surprise in light of Rovio’s riches. The studio is thought to be profitable.

IHS Screen Digest analyst Ed Barton said his was ‘shocked’ by the move.

“How much Rovio has raised is a significant amount for an online games publisher, which tends to spend far less on mobile games," he told Develop.

“The natural question is what are they going to do with the investment, and indeed the Angry Birds brand. Unless Rovio is taking a more traditional approach to game development, with the longer development time and higher costs, I’m very shocked by the move.”

Last week the Finnish studio revealed it would be working on a feature-length animated movie based on Angry Birds.

A Facebook edition of the landmark game is also planned.

Develop’s Rovio coverage can be found here.

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