Today, SoftBank Corp. announced that it has acquired an additional 22.7% holding in Supercell Oy, the leader in the mobile games industry with a track record of global top-ranking mobile game titles. As part of the deal, we have sold our remaining shares in Supercell.
As an early investor in Supercell, we have been very fortunate to be part of its journey from the start. We’d like to extend our thanks to CEO & co-founder Ilkka Paananen and the whole Supercell team for this phenomenal experience.
Ilkka told me, “We have been lucky in many ways, including with our investors. Accel always supported our long-term vision, particularly as we made tough decisions early on about where we would focus our efforts. There are many reasons why we've been able to make great games and one is the support we have had from Accel, who have been insightful, strategic, supportive and responsive.”
Personally, Supercell has been a highlight of my professional career. I was introduced to Ilkka through Kristian Segerstrale, the CEO and founder of social games company Playfish, where we were also the first venture investor.
From the first meeting, the Supercell team’s collective clarity of thought, sense of purpose, and creative process were striking. It was a unique combination of ingredients to build something truly special. I immediately shared their conviction that they could create a disruptive next-generation gaming company.
We believed that well-capitalising Supercell at an early stage would empower it to control its own destiny and take risks. Accel became the first and sole institutional venture investor, financing the company in May 2011 with an $11M Series A.
I became a board member and I am very proud to have been part of the company’s history that most people don’t know about or forget about. A time when it was pre-revenue and pre-game, including “Hay Day” and “Clash of Clans”. Involvement in the earliest days is something all of us at Accel pride ourselves upon.
And in Supercell’s early days there were some tough decisions that the company was insightful enough and bold enough to make. In November 2011, Supercell made the decision to focus its efforts solely on mobile. The company subsequently launched multiple top ten games including “Hay Day”, “Clash of Clans” and “Boom Beach”. “Clash of Clans” remains one of the most popular mobile games globally, and Supercell continues to pioneer the ‘mobile-first’ gaming category. Recognising the company’s value, SoftBank acquired a 51% stake in the company in October 2013.
In a press release announcing today's share purchase, SoftBank stated that it, “positions its partnership with Supercell as core to its mobile content strategy and believes that strengthening its relationship with Supercell through the Transaction will further contribute to the SoftBank Group’s growth over the long-term.
As we sell our remaining stake in Supercell, we’d like to thank the company again for allowing us to join it for part of its journey. It’s been a privilege to work with the team and an incredible four years!