Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, has just announced that it’s raised $42 million in a round of funding.
The round is co-led by Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures, the venture firm founded by Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. (We first saw the news on Twitter via Fortune’s Dan Primack.)
Rovio revenue is thought to be $50-70 million from app sales and licensing, and the company is profitable.
Rovio’s story is inspirational: the company was almost bankrupt when it released Angry Birds, which was its 52nd title.
Unlike most mobile gaming startups, Rovio is milking the hell out of its hit on as many platforms as possible, a strategy similar to Disney‘s, which is why it should acquire Rovio. Clearly, the price just shot up.
The release says Rovio plans to keep expanding the Angry Birds franchise across gaming platforms, merchandising and “broadcast media”, but also build more franchises. That’s the big question: is Rovio more than a one-hit wonder?
This round reminds us of Accel Partners‘ funding of software company Atlassian. Like Rovio, Atlassian was bootstrapped and profitable from the start, is not in a huge tech hub (Finland for Rovio, Australia for Atlassian), and then raised a huge first round ($60 million for Atlassian). If this one is like the other one, a chunk of the round involves shareholders taking money off the table.
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