What happened to the $42 million 'invested' in Rovio?

What happened to the $42 million 'invested' in Rovio?
Billed at the time as an investment that would "give Rovio wings", a little detective work has revealed the Finnish firm's first $42 million funding round doesn't seem to have been used to boost its production. 

Arctic Startup reports a close look at Rovio's 2011 financials reveals the funding round, originally detailed back in March 2011, doesn't appear in its figures.

This means the vast majority of the money likely wasn't used to build the company, but to pay existing shareholders. 

Missing money

The site reveals the two firms behind the $42 million injection - Accel Partners, and Atomico Ventures – now each boast a 10 percent share in the Angry Birds studio.

It's claimed the majority of this 20 percent share was likely purchased from chairman Kaj Hed, who via his Trema International Holdings company, now has a near 70 percent share in the company.

This means he would have previously controlled almost 90 percent of the shares. 

"It seems that the reason behind publishing the company's annual results proactively a couple of weeks earlier may be to hide the investment that never took place," details Arctic StartUp. 

"The money is clearly somewhere else and not in Rovio's books."

Cover up?

The discrepancy is interesting, however, if only because of Rovio's decision to make the supposed investment public at the time.


Both Rovio CEO and co-founder Mikael Hed and Niklas Zennstroem of Atomico Ventures - who joined the company's board as a result of the investment - went as far as to detail the impact the money would have on the studio's future efforts.

Rovio is yet to comment on Arctic Startup's claims, but the site states the firm's financials plainly do not add up as things stand, with only €700,000 in new equity for the firm declared in 2011 – a mere fraction of the investment so publicly declared little over a year ago.

Of course, given that it generated tens of millions of dollars of profit in 2011, Rovio is likely to argue that it doesn't actually need more cash in order to grow.

[source: Arctic Startup]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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