Well, more specifically they gave one big hug to the Helsinki based NordicHug. The company that is making touchscreen wipes out of berries, without using any alcohol. The news was already featured in the Helsinki Sanomat, and we reached out to Dmitry Genin, the CEO of NordicHug for more information.
The unique selling point of NordicHug is the fact that they use Arctic cloudberry based formula, which allows to clean the screens without using any alcohol. This is supposed to not only get rid of the bacteria but also leave the protective coating intact.
If there's anything Rovio knows, it's how to get their brand out there. Well, they make some fun games as well, but they reach a massive amount of eyeballs across mobile apps, Facebook, Smart TVs, and so on. It all comes down to the "all the screens" strategy that Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka has famously promoted for the Espoo-based company. The result is a massive fan base and high engagement. Rovio's Youtube channel has over 1 billion views. And last December Rovio announced it had over 1 billion downloads with 263 million monthly active users.
Now Rovio has put out a press release with the title "Rovio Moving Towards Digital Advertising," which seems to say nothing more than "we hired a bunch of senior advertising people, and we're looking for brands."
Boomlagoon, a company formed by Antti Stén (Ex-Rovio Lead Server Architect) and Tuomas Erikoinen (Ex-Rovio Lead Game Artist, yes, he drew the Angry Birds) just received a round of funding by a rather impressive duo - Jari Ovaskainen and a seasoned games investor London Venture Partners, represented by David Gardner.
Ovaskainen was the founder of Iobox, which was sold to Telefonica for €215m while David Gardner is best known for being the former CEO of Atari, and EVP & COO of Electronic Arts. Notably, they both invested in Supercell as well.
Last year, Rovio did about €75.4 million in revenue. About 30% of this came from different merchandise sales. The rest of the revenue flowed in through the sale of digital content and advertising in its Angry Birds games. Wall Street Journal interviewed Lisa Shamus, EVP of Commonwealth Toy & Novelty, a family business that creates plush toys for children. Shamus in the article shares that they sold about $200 million worth of Angry Birds merchandise to retailers. She continues to state that they are on track to sell $400 million worth of Angry Birds merchandise for this year.
Rovio must have had to carefully analyse many different alternatives for the first successor of Angry Birds as that would truly begin to label them as an multi-brand entertainment company. Today, Angry Birds brings in over €75 million in revenue for the company, but due to the nature of the games industry, being a hit business, that revenue will be hard to keep up over the years. To further grow and really get closer to a meaningful IPO, Rovio must differentiate its offering successfully.
Earlier this year the company announced they will be releasing a non-Angry Birds game as well. It is this game that will begin to determine how good Rovio really is. Sarah Lacy's book, which looked at the ability of serial entrepreneurs to create successful companies one after another, titled "Once you're lucky, twice you're good", applies well to this situation.
Rovio has today announced their 2011 financial results on their own website. Their 2011, full year, revenue is €75.4 million with earnings before tax €48 million (64% of total revenue). The financial results are definitely strong and in the expected ball park. In the last six months of 2010, Rovio's revenue was around €5 million. Most of the money came in from digital purchases, downloads and add-ons to games. Around 30% fo the income came from sales of merchandise.
In 2011 the total number of game downloads grew to 648 million, while the total number of active monthly users grew to 200 million across all platforms. Rovio launched Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio in 2011 across different mobile platforms and PC operating systems.
Rovio's head of animation, Nick Dorra, spoke at the MIPTV conference in Cannes where he announced Rovio will begin producing weekly short form animations, The Guardian reports. Each episode should last two-and-a-half to three minutes each, and will likely be released on a new video app. Rovio acquired the Finnish animation studio, Kombo in June of 2011 to begin creating their media content.
The title says it all, Rovio's Angry Birds game has reached over 10 million Monthly Active Users on Facebook's gaming platform. The game launched less than a month ago on Valentines day, meaning this Facebook metric currently tabs up the the number of unique users since its launch. As of this writing, the total number of uniques are around 10.2 million MAU, with another 1.1 million users added today according to the independent Facebook apps metrics webiste, App Data.
It seems that Angry Birds is already available on Facebook. We stumbled upon the game a day early of their official release. A few weeks back Rovio announced on Facebook that they would hold the biggest Facebook event ever and invite everyone and your mom to participate. The day naturally coincides with Valentines Day - a great day to share a good game with your friends. We snatched a few screenshots from the game as we played it and they're available below.
Rovio has announced that Angry Birds will expand to Facebook on February 14th. They did this in a very subtle way, by inviting people to an event on Facebook itself. Angry Birds has been anticipated to arrive on Facebook since last spring. At the time of writing this there are only a little over a thousand people invited to the event, but this will surely grow as the date gets closer.
Rovio's Chief Marketing Officer, also known as the Mighty Eagle, has come out with figures regarding Rovio's financials in an interview by Tekniikka & Talous, a Finnish newspaper. In the interview, he also said Rovio is looking to IPO in Hong Kong in 2013. In 2010 Rovio's revenue was around $10 million. This year the company expects its turnover to be around $100 million.
Rovio has teamed up with Lappset, a manufacturer of park and playground equipment, to build officially licensed Angry Birds activity parks for children. The first activity parks will pop up early next year in Finland, but it comes as no suprise that Rovio’s plan is to introduce these ”Angry Birds Magic Places” in every corner of the world.
CMO Peter Vesterbacka says that Rovio will not build large amusement parks in style of the previously seen Chinese knock-offs. The company wants to engage kids in activity rather than force them to wait in line for 15 minutes in order to enjoy a two minute ride. The new Angry Birds parks will also include in-game features that will bring the game and the physical world together.
It might seem like I've began a holy war against other media corporations out there, but no - I'm just trying to prove how ridiculous the media business is online and just how far it will go for a few more eyeballs. This case in my opinion is a perfect example of such an activity where certain laws become secondary. On December 6th Finland celebrated its independence day and the Finnish president invited the most successful people from various walks of life to the Presidential Palace for a gala evening. This year Peter and Teija Vesterbacka also were invited due to Peter Vesterbacka's work as the CMO of Rovio. Teija Vesterbacka wore a red dress for the evening that had design concepts from one of the birds in the mobile game Angry Birds.
All this caused a huge stir online as a result of numerous blogs and media sites showing the dress in a photograph. It's all good publicity for Teija and Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio and Finland except for tiny detail - all of the international outlets that published the picture of the couple walking down the isle, did so illegally.
10 billion mobile ad impressions a month is a huge number of ads served across mobile platforms. It's hard to believe, but Rovio has claimed to be the largest mobile ad publisher of the world-- which includes beating Google, which has its ads running on all mobile applications and search results. It's impressive but tough to digest.
Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds has already invaded all known platforms like Apple iOS, Android, Windows, Chrome browser and so on. It currently boasts 500 million downloads on all the available platforms, which makes the claim of 10 billon ad impressions a month believable. Peter Vesterbacka, Chief Marketing Officer of Rovio has been very vocal about this and even voicing plans on creating a new advertising method. We saw this happen with the release of Angry Birds Rio campaign that acted as a massive promotion for Rio the movie.
I managed to grab Peter Vesterbacka for a few minutes at Slush today to talk about how Angry Birds sees the world after 500 million downloads. Basically, there's a lot more out there for them to grab than one would expect - simply looking at them what they've done so far. Everyone knows that the company is looking to grow into an entertainment empire, but in my opinion they're already there. They're not just as big yet, even though they are.
Earlier this week at Nokia World, Nokia announced that it had partnered with Rovio and Angry Birds. In practice this means that all new Nokia Asha family phones will have Angry Birds pre-installed on it. A little earlier in the keynote, Stephen Elop announced that Nokia is making 14 phones each second. Think about it. It adds up to 1,2 million phones a day. Most of those phones aren't smart phones - they're phones being built for the emerging markets. Nokia Asha will be replacing the Series 40 phones and therefore, most of the phones Nokia makes - will come with Angry Birds pre-installed.
Nokia World, taking place in London, is the annual event of the mobile phone giant to showcase its new devices and also share plans for the future. Nokia has announced two new smart phones, Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710. In addition to this, Nokia also announced a new smart phone family for the emerging markets - Nokia Asha. This post is a log of live updates from the morning keynote by Stephen Elop.
Lacking a better metrics from official sources, the data analysts at Xyologic have put together statistics on the top paid and free apps in the Android, iPhone, iPad, and WP7 marketplace. These numbers can't be relied upon completely, but should prove themselves to be fairly sound when discussing what's happening at the top of the marketplaces.
Our first coverage of these data-sets will look at what's happening in the paid and free iPhone marketplaces in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, using data from the month of August. Games accounted for about 59% of paid app downloads in the region, with anywhere from 57.1% in Finland to 61.3% in Sweden. This is quite apparent when looking at the top paid app lists, with the following four games consistently in the top 5:
Bloomberg is reporting today that Rovio has announced it is preparing for an IPO in 2012. “We’re not ready to file for an IPO tomorrow. Maybe a year from now.” Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle of the company said on Bloomberg TV. He also went on to state that the company is insanely profitable. The valuation of the company is more than a billion dollars, sources close to Bloomberg state.
A few weeks ago we wrote about Angry Birds being played with the Uplause technology at the Formula 1 event that took place in Singapore. Since we covered the items right after the weekend, we didn't have any video available. However, now we do and it just makes you smile. Take a look at the video below and see people in the audience participate in playing Angry Birds Fast and Furious. People participate by shouting, which is basically the control for the slingshot. Made us smile for sure.
It comes as no surprise that Rovio is eager to build a strong retail presence. The company is, after all, already selling a million T-shirts and plush toys each month. Bloomberg reports that the makers of Angry Birds are now eager to setup a partnership with Starbucks Corp. The idea is simple: grow beyond the digital space and add more variety to its portfolio of products.
The Angry Birds smartphone game has seen over 350 million downloads and Rovio wants to capitalize on this phenomenal growth further. Leader boards in stores is just one option for promoting Angry Birds in a bid to transform the digital reach into a real-world behemoth. What are we looking at? The fad of Angry Birds shoes, socks, pillows, rugs and what not syncs perfectly to help Rovio diversify its line of products and reach more customers.
Last weekend Rovio and Uplause, two Finnish companies, premiered the Angry Birds Crowd Game at the Formula 1 race in Singapore. Uplause is a company creating differnent kinds of massive multiplayer games - the kind that you play in large stadiums and outdoor events, for example, together with thousands of players simultaneously. More than 2.5 million people have participated in the games so far, according to Uplause.
Angry Birds: 1 Million Plush Toys And 1 Million T-Shirts Sold Each Month. The Game Isn't All They Have
Angry Birds is phenomenal. It's great, it's growing and it sounds pretty clichéd and something that is apparently obvious to almost everyone. The brand has amassed over 350 million downloads of its game on numerous devices ranging from the iPhone, Android to PCs and PlayStation 3 and that’s just the software side. What is also worth mentioning is how they have grown out of the gaming world on consoles to board games, Hollywood movie; RIO to stuffed toys. Calling it the Pac Man of our generation will by no means be wrong, though the comparison may not be totally justified.
The Angry Birds brand has made leaps outside the digital world, especially with their plush toys that they launched back last year. While that only garnered 2 million sales in the first quarter or so, the sales have rocketed to one million each month thereon. That’s not it, the plush toys are just half the story and the Angry Birds T-shirts are selling 1 million pieces a month as well.
Bloomberg has a story on Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds, that they'd be looking for financing at $1.2B valuation. Bloomberg refers to two people familiar with the matter, but does not disclose who they are. What makes this financing talk a little more interesting (not that it would need to be at such valuation) is that Rovio is said to be in talks with a company in the entertainment business to take on a strategic investment. Similar offers have been rejected from large institutional investors Bloomberg's sources said.
Everyone wants Angry Birds and after invading almost all sorts of mobile and other computing platforms it is now coming to TVs this summer. (after the movie, Rio) The announcement comes as Roku, the maker of set-top boxes mentioned partnering with Rovio early last week.
Rovio's Mighty Eagle, Peter Vesterbacka stated this morning in the Summer of Startups press event that "Rovio is very much in acquisition mode at the moment". Last week we wrote about Rovio acquiring a Helsinki based animation studio Kombo for an undisclosed amount. Vesterbacka stated that the acquisition was not a huge one, but they still added 20 people to Rovio's headcount making the company now 120 employees strong.
Rovio, the creators of the hugely popular game Angry Birds, have today announced that they have acquired the Helsinki based animation studio Kombo. The acquisition was financed through cash and Rovio stock. The sum was not disclosed. According to the press release, after the acquisition, Kombo will focus solely on Rovio's animation properties.
Getting anything for free is usually a pretty good deal, but getting the hit game free from the Google Chrome store is an even better deal! The hit game is available to anyone through Google Chrome Webstore. The Chrome App Store is a service for the users of the Google Chrome browser and the applications can be run within the browser. This also signals a change for Rovio, the company that created Angry Birds as this is the first version of the game in a browser based format.
There is so much good to write about Angry Birds that many people would think that Rovio has always been a record breaker from day 1. It has taken Rovio 7 years and over 50 titles to bring forth this insanely popular game for the masses. By mentioning 50 titles, I simply needed to mention that I myself wasn’t much aware of Rovio before I played Angry Birds (and so did almost all my friends).
Angry Birds is set to get another title to boast about in its collection as Rovio announces the launch of Angry Birds Magic. The game is set to launch on Nokia smartphones powered by the current Symbian Anna update.The game will be released at WIMA NGS conference next week.