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SoftBank investment values Clash of Clans maker Supercell at astonishing $5.5B

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[dropcap style=”style1″]S[/dropcap]oftBank increased its stake in Clash of Clans developer Supercell by 22.7 percent, bringing its total share in the company to 73.2 percent.

Vietgame.asiaSoftBank originally acquired a 51 percent stake in the company in October 2013 for $1.5 billion. If Supercell was worth the same now as it was then, the new 22.7 percent would be worth about $660 million.

However, Supercell is worth more than it was in 2013 thanks to hits like Clash of Clans and Boom Beach. GamesBeat has learned from a reliable source that the value of Supercell in the transaction is an eye-popping $5.5 billion.

The free-to-play Clash of Clans is consistently one of the most popular mobile games. It is currently the top-grossing app in the iOS store, according to AppAnnie. Another Supercell game, Boom Beach, is No. 4 on that list. Supercell is one of the big players in a mobile industry that could reach $30 billion and exceed the console industry’s revenues this year, according to market researcher Newzoo.

The above figures mean that SoftBank paid an additional $1.2 billion to purchase the 22 percent stake from investors including Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Atomico, Institutional Venture Partners, and Initial Capital. Accel had the biggest stake, as it was the primary investor back during the Series A investment, when Supercell was valued at $40 million.

At $5.5 billion, Supercell is now worth more than publicly traded Zynga, the FarmVille maker which is valued at $2.7 billion (a company with 2,000 employees), and Candy Crush Saga maker King at $4.5 billion (with around 1,200 employees).

SoftBank is now the sole external shareholder in Supercell. If you think about it in the value of the company per employee, it is an astounding $36 million. Supercell has around 150 employees, and it creates games with small teams of around five people.

Should the company really deserve this value? Clash of Clans has dominated since 2012, and it shows no signs of losing its No. 1 position on the top of the charts in terms of top-grossing apps. And it has a seasoned management team. Revenues are snowballing upwards, thanks in no small part to its Super Bowl ad starring Liam Neeson. The $9 million TV ad has generated more than 54 million views on YouTube alone. The company maintains Clash of Clans with a relatively tiny team of about 15 people, the last we heard.

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The company’s leader is Ilkka Paananen, who headed-up mobile game development teams for years before starting Supercell with the help of loans from the Finnish government in 2009. Supercell had a seasoned team of mobile game creators, and it made some big decisions, like deciding in November 2011 to invest solely in mobile games. It creates a lot of prototypes each year and then tests them. It’s ruthless about discarding ideas that don’t work, celebrating what it learns from them, and then moving on to something new. Supercell is testing a new game called Smash Land.

Accel, SoftBank, Supercell, and others in the deal declined comment.

“We believed that well-capitalizing Supercell at an early stage would empower it to control its own destiny and take risks,” wrote Kevin Commoli, a partner at Accel, in a blog post. “Accel became the first and sole institutional venture investor, financing the company in May 2011 with an $11 million Series A. I became a board member and I am very proud to have been part of the company’s history.”

[su_icon_panel background=”transparent” border=”1px none #cccccc” shadow=”0px 0px 0px #eeeeee” icon=”icon: html5″ icon_color=”#1f6dc9″ icon_size=”70″ url=”http://supercell.com/en/”][/su_icon_panel][su_icon_panel background=”transparent” border=”1px none #cccccc” shadow=”0px 0px 0px #eeeeee” icon=”icon: facebook-square” icon_color=”#1f6dc9″ icon_size=”70″ url=”https://www.facebook.com/Supercellgames”][/su_icon_panel]Thanks, GamesBeat.Images by Google.