TechCrunch Disrupt: Fresh Details on Zynga Stats, History with Kleiner Perkins

Zynga chief executive Mark Pincus was on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference today, together with two of his investors, Bing Gordon and John Doerr from Kleiner Perkins. While their conversation covered familiar territory for people in the social gaming industry, here are a few points that stood out:

First, the stats. As of yesterday, Pincus said that his company had 215 million monthly active users and 33 million daily active users across Facebook and its other social and mobile properties. In terms of head count, Pincus also said that the company has around 1200 employees, spread across 13 studios in eight locations, including a recently-created Tokyo location.

Gordon, a former executive at Electronic Arts, said that before Zynga started, he’d been thinking of four trends: the social web, payments, analytics, and web developer platforms. Zynga combined these “four disruptions in one.” After watching the company grow on Facebook’s platform in 2007, Gordon decided to introduce Pincus to Doerr, one of the top venture investors in the world.

“Mark’s a bit of a bad boy, but he’s totally on to something,” Gordon said he explained at the time, referring to Pincus’ controversial reputation in Silicon Valley. Gordon, Doerr and Doerr’s daughter Mary dropped in on Pincus at home for a Saturday breakfast to discuss an investment. Doerr was interested, but commented to Pincus that “this is kinda late-stage,” referring to the first venture round of $10 million that Zynga had just raised. Pincus’ response: “You’re John Doerr at KPCB — if you can’t do what you want, then who can?”

After the meeting, Doerr asked Mary — who was then in high school, and a social gamer — what she thought. “He’s pretty cool,” she replied.

Kleiner Perkins led a $29 million second round of funding in Zynga, announced that July. The money helped Zynga at a crucial early point of the industry’s growth, as it bought YoVille — then a range of other, still-unannounced developers in the coming months.

The rest of the Disrupt panel today focused on what the three considered to be big trends in tech. Pincus expounded on the view of many in the industry about its future potential beyond the relatively simple games on Facebok. “I think people can still imagine life without playing our games,” he said, adding that the company wants to find ways to “make your daily grind have more meaning.”

[Photo via TechCrunch.]