Angry Birds maker lands $42 million in funding

Rovio, the company behind the wildly popular Angry Birds franchise, has secured its first investment round as it looks to spread the rage.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Rovio, the company behind the Angry Birds phenomenon, is suddenly flush with cash.

The company announced today that it secured $42 million in a Series A round of funding led by venture-capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures. Accel Partners is best known for investing in Facebook, Groupon, and AdMob. Atomico Ventures was started by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, who is joining Rovio's board of directors.

Rovio's success with the Angry Birds franchise has been downright impressive. The game, which lets players slingshot birds at pigs, currently has more than 40 million monthly active users and sits at or near the top of most mobile app stores. In addition, the company's Angry Birds plush toy sales have surpassed 2 million units, making it a clear hit across multiple retail channels.

The game was originally released in Apple's App Store in December 2009 and has since moved to the other major smartphone platforms, with the BlackBerry being a major exception.

Rovio's funding round will be used to help the company build on its success thus far. The company said the cash will "facilitate its strategic expansion," though it didn't provide any details on its plans.

What is known, however, is that Finland-based Rovio plans to bring Angry Birds to more platforms this year. An "online Angry Birds experience" is set to launch in the next several months, the company said today. The game will be coming to consoles later this year. And Angry Birds reportedly will land inside Facebook in May.

It seems that Angry Birds will be more than just the game people play on their smartphones.

"With Angry Birds, we have successfully launched not only a strong new brand, but also a whole new entertainment franchise," Mikael Hed, CEO and co-founder of Rovio, said in a statement. "Angry Birds will continue to grow, and we aim to create more similar success stories."