Vesterbacka: Rovio's IPO may happen in 2012

Estimates value 'north' of $1bn, says studio looking at acquisitions

Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka, marketing chief and 'mighty eagle', has said that the studio may stage its IPO next year, estimating the company's value at more than $1 billion.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Vesterbacka said that he felt that now was not the time to start selling shares, as the company wasn't ready, but that it could happen "maybe a year from now".

Vesterbacka also mentioned that the company was weighing up the wisdom of making more acquisitions prior to floating.

The company is currently valued at $1 billion, but Vesterbacka thinks that's probably underpricing the outfit, telling reporters that "we're happy with our valuation but we think it's probably a bit north of that."

Rovio has diversified the Angry Birds product line significantly, making 10-20 per cent of revenue from merchandise such as stuffed toys and an Angry Birds cookbook. Plans for films and other new product and revenue streams are also under way.

"We're insanely profitable," said Vesterbacka. "We are very, very profitable. We're not a publicly traded company yet but we can fund our own growth."

The company has seen meteoric growth since the release of Angry Birds in 2009, becoming a by-word for the App Store goldrush. As Vesterbacka admits, without Apple's storefront, the company would have struggled to meet with such success.

"Before the iPhone and the app stores, if you weren't friends with the handset makers, even if you made a great game you couldn't get it out there. There were all these people on gateways controlling what went out. The app store model has changed the dynamics."

Growth continues, too. Of the 400 million paid-for and free downloads of Angry Birds, three quarters have come in the last six months, setting the company up for some alarmingly large target numbers.

"We think we have a good shot at being the first entertainment brand that has a billion fans - people we can talk to and have a dialogue with every day," said Vesterbacka, espousing a 20 year plan for the franchise.

"Disney started as a black and white cartoon about this little mouse. Nintendo has been working on Mario for 26 years. Angry Birds is less than two years old."

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Latest comments (2)

Shane Sweeney Academic 6 years ago
This is still such a weird turn of events. I really hope Rovio is the next Nintendo or Disney in that they produce a large number of different high quality franchises. They really can't expect to milk this single franchise forever.

A 1 billion valuation from effectively a highly polished flash game is pretty astounding. But they do have quite a back catalogue of titles as well, so I like the fact it took some time and effort to become successful.
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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ6 years ago
The great thing about Rovio is that they've been making awesome games for mobile handsets for years and years. Before the iPhone ever existed, I had played and LOVED 3 or 4 of their excellent Java based games. They were awesome. Just the right mechanics to suit phones, great MUSIC! Great gameplay. Hardcore enough to grab my attention, yet really well suited to the phones.

I think all of that experience has come to bare on Angry Birds... they're a company's that really honed its skills with experience, and great people.

Their Java games will always be the ones I remember most, as the Java handset slips entirely into the history of mankind! :)

If anyone still has a Java handset, I implore you! Check out these games...

Darkest Fear 2 (I loved this game! Awesome story, light/dark stealth gameplay, great music, etc)
Cyberblood (a really fun action RPG game - groovy atmosphere and enough strategy to keep you hooked)
Star Marine (a bit of a simpler action game, with enough strategy to keep you playing for more)
Wolf Moon (I love the atmosphere in this game, but the gameplay is my least favorite of the four)

They're pretty simple, but really fun!
A hark back to the day's of the coolest in Amiga and PC games from the early 90's.

Best played on a Java phone with a D-Pad, like some of the Sony-Ericssons had. :)
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