Moshi Monsters valued at $200m after Spark Ventures sells half its stake

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Spark Ventures has sold half of its stake in Mind Candy, creators of the online children’s game, Moshi Monsters, for $4.9m, generating a 15x return. The move means that Mind Candy / Moshi Monsters is now valued at $200m. Spark originally invested in 2004.

That means that Mind Candy is now one of the most valuable players in the London startup scene around Silicon Roundabout, after the sale of TweetDeck to Twitter for $40m recently.

Moshi Monsters – used by seven to 14 year olds to create their own pet monsters – has 50m users globally and generates millions in revenue from in-game payments, offline merchandising such as toys, books and trading cards. The “Facebook for kids” now has one in three British children as a player and it has significant traction in the US.

Headquartered in London with around 70 staff, Mind Candy was launched 2003 by Michael Acton Smith, a co-founder of Web 1.0 online retailer Firebox.com.

The tale is a typical startup one, in that its first game, Perplex City, bombed, but investors including Spark Ventures, Index Ventures and Accel Partners put $7m in 2006 to allow Minday Candy to launch Moshi Monsters in 2007.