Angry Birds maker Rovio could go public next year, according to the company's chief marketing officer and "Mighty Eagle," Peter Vesterbacka.
"We're not ready to file for an IPO tomorrow," Vesterbacka told Bloomberg Television in an interview published today. "Maybe a year from now." He went on to say that his company is valued at around $1 billion, and would likely go public on that valuation if and when it files its papers for an IPO.
Rovio is best known for its Angry Birds mobile game--which Vesterbacka told Bloomberg has seen 400 million downloads worldwide since its launch in 2009--and the company has created a full-fledged business around that franchise. Rovio currently sells everything from stuffed toys and T-shirts to cookbooks and school supplies with its Angry Birds branding on them. And so far, that strategy has worked out extraordinarily well for Rovio.
"We're insanely profitable," Vesterbacka told Bloomberg. "We are very, very profitable. We're not a publicly traded company yet but we can fund our own growth."
The question, though, is whether or not investors will want to jump on a company that is essentially known for a single product. Earlier in the year, when startups were all the rage on Wall Street and companies like LinkedIn and Yandex saw skyrocketing stock prices, investors might have jumped on a Rovio IPO. But over the last several months, investors have grown increasingly cautious, and it's not clear when that mindset might change.
In one sign of the challenges for young companies, many Web entrepreneurs--especially those at early-stage startups--are having trouble finding financing and are seeing their valuations drop roughly in half, to a range of $3 million to $5 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, daily-deals provider Groupon has reportedly balked at going public, even though it intended to do so in September. Social-gaming company Zynga is also reportedly putting its IPO plans on hold until the market becomes more IPO-friendly. Even Facebook, which has been expected to go public for years, likely won't make its IPO intentions known until next year.