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Angry Birds Secures £26m Funding

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Angry Birds creator Rovi has secured £26m to fund further worldwide expansion and new versions of the phenomenally successful game. The investment, by Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures alongside Felicis Ventures will build on its popularity.

Finnish developers Rovio released Angry Birds in 2009 as a casual puzzle game for touchscreen smartphones that became a worldwide phenomenon from 2010 with active gamers estimated at around forty million a month.

The game, in which players catapult birds at egg-stealing pigs hunkered down in a variety of shelters, is available on the iPhone, Android-powered devices, Nokia and Palm phones as well as the iPad.

In an announcement earlier this month, Rovio claimed to have made more than £43m so far from Angry Birds games and the increasingly popular merchandising, including its range of plush toys of which have already sold one million.

The company says it is rapidly expanding its activities in broadcast media, merchandising, publishing and services and plans to roll out a version of the game on social networks and gaming consoles.

Mikael Hed, co-founder and CEO of Rovio, said: “Angry Birds will continue to grow, and we aim to create similar success stories. We’ll strengthen the position of Rovio and continue building our franchises in gaming, merchandising and broadcast media.”

Fans of the game were treated to a Halloween edition in October and are waiting for the release of the Angry Birds 2 later this year in which the pigs may finally get their revenge.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we reported that the company announced its Bad Piggybank billing system to allow players to buy content using the credit attached to their phone bill. This will allow Rovio to bypass app stores, where Angry Birds has clocked up 75 million downloads, and reach an even bigger market.

Marketing boss Peter Vesterbacka illustrated the company’s ambitions last week in an interview in Wired, saying: "Look at how Disney got started: Steamboat Willie created Mickey Mouse, then they added more characters. You can see the same pattern today, but everything is happening much, much faster."

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