Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Angry Birds Aims to Hit One Billion Downloads, Perhaps Grab Even More Venture Money

With Rovio having already passed 250 million downloads of its various Angry Birds games, the company now has its sights set on one billion downloads.

“This is something that even six months ago was unthinkable,” said Wibe Wagemans, the former Microsoft Bing executive who now heads the Finnish company’s brand marketing efforts.

Speaking at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco, Wagemans surprised everyone — including the panel moderator and Rovio investor Rich Wong — by suggesting that the company might be looking for investment beyond the massive venture round completed earlier this year.

“We’re always looking for money,” he said.

Wong probed Wagemans for details on that.

“Can you expand on that, I wasn’t aware of that,” said Wong, whose Accel Partners led Rovio’s venture round earlier this year.

“We’re always on the look out for good money,” he said, noting the company is in a fast growth phase. (I caught up with Wagemans later and he reiterated that they are serious about raising more money, but said there is no rush to do so.)

The Birds are indeed expanding quickly. The company has its first book in the works and just added flip-flops to its merchandise collection. Meanwhile its games are now on Roku boxes and coming soon to Facebook.

Wagemans noted that the company found out it was the third most copied brand in China, just behind Hello Kitty. “We want to be the most copied brand in China,” Wagemans said.

As for the company’s plans to support future efforts from Nokia, Wagemans noted that Microsoft just released the Windows Phone 7 version of Angry Birds and there are already versions for MeeGo and Symbian.

“I’d love to see from Nokia some other options like a Plan B for the future,” Wagemans said. That said, Rovio isn’t trying to take sides in the mobile platform wars.

“The major opportunity for us is to be agnostic,” he said.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik