Zynga Game Network, one of the largest social gaming developers and networks, is announcing this morning that it has closed a whopping $29 million Series B financing round, on top of an already large $10 million Series A round it raised just six months ago. The round is led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners, and includes funding from previous investors Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group and Avalon Ventures.
As part of the investment, Bing Gordon, who recently left EA for KP, will take an active director role in building the company. Gordon, who was the co-founder and former chief creative officer of Electronic Arts, joins LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman, Brad Feld of Foundry Group, and CEO Mark Pincus on the board.
In addition Zynga is announcing the acquisition of Facebook application YoVille, which it claims is the “largest virtual world game” on social networks. YoVille’s rapid growth to 150,000 daily active users has caught the attention of many Facebook application developers recently, and it joins a number of other top (and formerly independent) Facebook game developers that have joined the Zynga fold.
What are Zynga’s plans for its $39 million war chest? “We are doubling down on social gaming, raising the production quality and scaling the infrastructure,” says Pincus. Apparently, Zynga plans to spend a lot more than most small developers have spent creating the first generation of social games.
“Mark and the talented team at Zynga have the same kind of vibrant energy we had in the early, industry-defining years of EA,” says Gordon in a statement. “But their designs, technologies and approaches are all new, and are further broadening the reach and promise of interactive entertainment.”