News has broke that Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications and internet corporation, together with the GungHo, the Japanese developer of Puzzle Dragon, have teamed up to buy a 51% stake in Supercell for $1.5 billion, putting Supercell's valuation at over $3 billion.
We have reached out to Supercell and they promised to get back to us with more information on the deal, so please stay tuned and we will update you as the news comes in. The deal was first reported by WSJ:
Supercell deal values the Finnish maker of Clash of Clans and Hay Day at a massive $3 billion.— WSJ Nordics (@WSJNordics) October 15, 2013
Previously, GungHo and Supercell started close collaboration , made cross-promotions for their games, and flew in some of the GungHo team for Supercell's Free Your Play event in Helsinki. GungHo itself was reported to generate $2.5 million a day and is valued at $4.5 billion.
The investment has been confirmed on the official blog of Supercell, which states that the strategic investment "will accelerate Supercell towards [the] goal of being the first truly global games company, and gives us enough time to get there".
According to the latest information, Softbank put in 80% of the funding, or $1.2 billion while GungHo put in the remaining $300 million. The new company that will end up owning 51% of Supercell is going to be incorporated in Finland, a topic Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen seems dedicated to on the Supercell blog.
"It may sound like a detail, but I should also mention that the company that will end up owning 51% of Supercell is incorporated in Finland. This is both exciting and important for me personally. Although our aspirations are global, our roots and future are very much in Finland. Our operations remain in Finland, our management team remains in Finland and in San Francisco, and we continue to pay taxes in Finland. I think more and more people in this country are realizing that there is life after Nokia!"
The founder of Softbank, Masayoshi Son, shared with Paananen that he has a 300 year vision for reshaping entertainment, and a plan of how to implement it. In Masayoshi Son's words: "After getting to know Ilkka and some of the team, it became clear to me that you, like us at Softbank, are on a similar long and aspirational journey to shape the future of entertainment for the next hundred years. And, I'm excited to see an independent Supercell continue to rise with great people and great games, delivering happiness to so many people around the world."
Although the new company will have the controlling share package, Ilkka further commented that it is important to the company to continue to operate independently. "In fact, and this may sound surprising to some, I feel that with this deal, we're now more independent and in control of our future than we ever have been," he comments.
It will be interesting to see how this investment gets used by Supercell. While marketing efforts to stay on the top of the iPhone and iPad charts is expensive, Supercell has grown famous for it's lean organizational structure and it's hesitancy to hire.
We will update this with further information once we hear directly from Supercell.