Congratulations to Rovio as they take flight today!
Today we’re very happy to congratulate the team at Rovio on the company’s initial public offering in its native Finland. An IPO is an incredible achievement and is a reflection of the years of hard work, passion and commitment shown by all of our friends on the team there.
We’ve believed in Rovio from the beginning, and it has been a privilege to have been invited to play a small part in their journey since their Series A round back in 2011. Back then we were struck by the ambition and imagination of the team, which continues to shine today. Just because you come from a country of 5.5 million, doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact on billions of people. Rovio is just the latest example of a team from Europe proving that great companies can, and do, come from anywhere.
Rovio’s story will go down in history thanks to the role it played in cementing the smartphone as the most important platform for both personal gaming and apps. Angry Birds was the first game to achieve global breakout success on the iPhone, creating an iconic and enduring entertainment brand in the process. We never cease to be amazed by the awareness and love that kids and adults alike have for Angry Birds.
Of course, the very best success stories are defined by challenging times too; scaling a global category winner is incredibly hard. Resilience and tenacity are defining characteristics of exceptional entrepreneurs and Rovio’s team has demonstrated these traits in spades. It has truly been a privilege to work closely with the team, through thick and thin, and see first-hand how they never allowed the hard times to compromise the ambition to build a global category-leading company.
Rovio’s CEO Kati Levoranta, together with EVP of Games Wilhelm Taht, have done an incredible job in delivering on the original vision of Niklas and Mikael Hed together with their co-founders, and Chairman Kaj Hed. Following in these formidable footsteps, Kati and Wilhelm have successfully devised and implemented a Games First Entertainment strategy under which the company thrived. Together, they unquestionably form one of the strongest leadership teams in the European technology ecosystem today. Under Kati’s calm and considered stewardship, Rovio is experiencing a period of extraordinary growth and today’s IPO — the largest IPO in Finland in more than a decade — is simply the latest validation of her inspiring leadership.
The Nordic region has proven itself to be a global powerhouse in gaming and we are excited to see Rovio become the latest to join the region’s billion-dollar Gaming Hall of Fame today alongside King, Mojang and our former portfolio company Supercell. Today’s IPO also continues to demonstrate the strength and increasing momentum of the European tech IPO market.
We’re so proud of all the team at Rovio has achieved and we can’t wait to witness the next chapter!