Candy Crush Saga Floats In NY – Here’s The Saddest Story About Its Founder Toby Rowland
SO. King.com, the makers of Candy Crush Saga, is floating shares in the company in New York. The valuation put on it is that it will be worth $7 billion and change which is a pretty big number. Then again they did make over $500 million in pure profit this past year. All of which is just great for the people that own the company and are now able to cash out and turn some of it into hot and cold running Bentleys for the rest of their life.
However, there’s also a slightly sad story here as well. What about the bloke who worked hard for years, invested, helped build the company, but sold out too soon?
No shares. Founder, $0
Toby Rowland co-founded King with Morris and Zacconi, and was co-chief executive until 2008, but he sold his shares in 2011, just months before the company launched its first hit Facebook game. He is married to the author and Vogue journalist Plum Sykes, and his father was the mining tycoon Tiny Rowland, who once owned the Observer and House of Fraser department stores. He was persuaded by Morris to move to Derby and become marketing director of their previous venture, uDate. He invested and shared in the spoils when the matchmaking site was sold for $150m in 2002, using the proceeds to set up King. Despite backing King for eight years, like the founding Beatles member Pete Best, Rowland left too early to share in its success. His 40m shares were sold back to King for a mere $3m, according to data from PrivCo. Had Rowland stayed in, he would have been King’s largest individual shareholder today, with a stake worth up to $966m.
OK, so he’s rich anyway, both from inheritance and also from a previous venture. But $3 million is very different from $966 million, that’s for sure.
Not quite sure what would be the best way to deal with this really. Should Rowland cry about it or just laugh it off as they way things go?