Sulake

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Sulake
Type Private
Industry Teen social networking
Founded 2000[1]
Founders Sampo Karjalainen
Aapo Kyrölä
Headquarters Helsinki, Finland
Area served 11 countries [2]
Key people Antti-Jussi Suominen (CEO)
Antti Viitanen (SVP)[1]
Products Habbo (2000-)
VMK (2005–08)
Mini Friday (2006–10)
IRC-Galleria (2007–11)
Bobba Bar (2009–11)
Lost Monkey (2011–)
Niko (2012–)
Operating income 78.700.000 U$ (2011)
Employees 60 (March 2013)[1]
Parent Elisa
Website www.sulake.com

Sulake (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈsulɑke]), is a Finnish social entertainment company.

History[edit]

In its early days, Sulake developed and experimented with an open source Java based GNU called FUSE Light, an alternative to Macromedia's Flash. The key difference between the two technologies was that FUSE Light was designed to run on any operating system, while Flash was limited to just Mac OS and Windows. This technology was first demonstrated on Sulake's Mobiles Disco, but it soon came to use on the beta versions of Habbo.[3]

In March 2011, Sulake reported that revenue was up more than 20 percent over 2009, resulting in sales of €56.2 million ($78.7 million).[4] Sulake’s EBITDA in 2010 totaled €5.4 million ($7.6 million, 9.5 percent of revenue) and thus significantly improved from the previous year (€0.6 or $0.8 million). Net profit was €1.6 million ($2.3 million). Sulake has also been playing an active role in assisting the police in investigations connected to the theft of online furniture.[5]

In September 2011, Sulake announced Paul LaFontaine as new CEO as the original management team left the company. [6]

In February 2012, it was announced that Sulake will be consolidating some of its manual processes and local operations.[7] In showing the door to 25% of their workforce, Sulake will also close all of their 11 country offices according to the report by Finnish publication Dome.fi.[8]

In October 2012, it was announced that Sulake would be implementing a second wave of job cuts. A maximum of 60 out of the 90 jobs will go. Negotiations with employees began on 5 November 2012.[9]

In December 2012, it was announced that CEO Paul LaFontaine would be leaving his role after fifteen months.[10] In January 2013, Sulake announced that Markku Ignatius would replace LaFontaine as acting CEO.[11]

In February 2013, telecommunications company Elisa announced that it was buying Sulake. By the end of the month it will become the biggest shareholder with 85% of the shares.[12]

In April 2013, Antti-Jussi Suominen became the CEO of Sulake.[13]

Controversy[edit]

In June 2012, Sulake received negative press for ongoing sexual behavior allegations in their most successful game, Habbo Hotel. Channel 4 News identified that Sulake was allowing users to post pornographic and violent messages - despite the fact that Habbo is targeted at young teenagers.[14] On 13 June 2012, one of the main shareholders, 3i, which held 16 per cent of shares, declared it was pulling out of Sulake shares alongside other investors including Balderton Capital.[15]

Sulake's original pixelated logo (2000-2003)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Studio Profile: Sulake". Edge. Future plc. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Sulake: Habbo". Sulake Corporation Oy. 
  3. ^ "FUSE Light". Sulake. Archived from the original on 2002-08-02. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  4. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20120215000000*/http://www.sulake.com/press/releases/2011-03-31-Habbo_Hotels_Parent_Company_Reports_Record_Year.html
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20111219042007/http://www.sulake.com/blog/entries/2010-06-02-Virtual_thieves_caught_in_Habbo_Hotel_Finland.html
  6. ^ http://www.arcticstartup.com/2011/09/07/sulake-ceo-timo-soininen-steps-down
  7. ^ http://www.sulake.com/blog/entries/2012-02-16-Sulake_Consolidation.html
  8. ^ "Suomalainen Sulake vetäytyy maailmalta, irtisanoo tuntuvasti –". Dome.fi. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  9. ^ Anderson, Greg (2012-10-29). "Breaking: Sulake To Begin Talks To Reduce Workforce By Up To 2/3". Arcticstartup.com. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  10. ^ "Paulwalla Departing | Behind the Pixels". Blog.habbo.com. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  11. ^ "LaFontaine steps down. Markku Ignatius appointed as an acting CEO". Sulake. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  12. ^ "Kaikki tiedotteet - Tiedotteet - Elisa Oyj". Corporate.elisa.fi. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  13. ^ "Ignatius completes interim period and steps down as CEO; Antti-Jussi Suominen to head Sulake business from 1 April 2013 onwards". Sulake. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  14. ^ "What is happening in Habbo Hotel? - Channel 4 News". Channel4.com. 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  15. ^ Internet. "Habbo Hotel investor pulls out over pornographic content claims". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 

External links[edit]