It’s still early in 2014 but we have a member of the billion-dollar app club,, the company behind the worldwide sensation Candy Crush Saga. It’s an especially happy day for me because Riccardo Zacconi is a friend and fellow Londoner. Congratulations Riccardo – you certainly deserve it!

So it turns out all the rumours were true, and King was always on a path to IPO. The strategy was cemented by their end of 2013 numbers – and Wall Street’s hunger for another tech startup.

IPO Numbers

King-Ticket-Price-WSJThe stock ended Wednesday’s session down 16%, the worst opening for a U.S.-listed IPO this year. On Thursday, shares declined 2.7%, and on Friday the stock fell 41 cents, or 2.2%, to $18.08, down 20% from its IPO price of $22.50.

On the more positive side, the flotation  raised about $500 million for the company, with the IPO giving the game maker a valuation of $7.1 billion. So let’s not say that everything was negative.

No Sour Grapes

Despite what Forbes was saying in their article a few days ago, there are no sour grapes at King.

The share price dip hit the company’s Chairman Melvyn Morris and CEO Riccardo Zacconi, both of whom could have been billionaires if their gaming firm had experienced a successful debut.

Instead, the  markets shaved hundreds of millions off their paper net worths. Assuming the company’s over-allotment option to sell more shares was not exercised Wednesday, Morris still holds about 35.6 million shares in the game developer. Morris now has an estimated stake worth about $730 million (his stake lost $125 million on the IPO day).

Zacconi holds about 30.4 million shares after selling nearly 700,000 shares at the IPO price of $22.50. Forbes estimates his net worth at about $625 million at the end of the day, down about $105 million from Wednesday morning.

A Little Bit of History

Riccardo (now 46) was born in Italy and worked with Morris at as a marketing executive. He worked  as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital Partners prior to his time at the online dating company, and spent a few years in Silicon Valley.

He started with five others soon after and served as its co-CEO with fellow cofounder Toby Rowland from the start. When Rowland departed in 2008–possibly because of differing visions–Zacconi became the only chief executive. He serves in the same capacity to this day.

But here’s the rub, Rowland sold all his shares in 2011 for about $3 million, an unfortunate decision considering his more than 40 million share stake would be worth about $800 million today. He declined to comment on the matter to Forbes. Sux to be him.