Zynga Pulls A Facebook, Takes Money From DST

Zynga is really ramping up funding for the company with a new investment of $180 million from Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the same company which has purchased $300 million worth of Facebook stock, earlier this year. Included in this funding round will be a portion of the money which will be allocated to allow employees to sell some of their shares as well as other investors in the company.

Zynga has been on fire lately with over 100 million unique monthly users, making it the largest online casual gaming company according to the company. In just a couple years, Zynga has surged past all other Facebook application developers to become the largest by a wide margin. FarmVille, the company’s largest game, has approximately 73 million monthly active users and is approaching 30 million daily active users.

Zynga has a lot in common with Facebook as they have almost a third of Facebook’s total user base and now have numerous investments. Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, is known for wanting to beat Facebook to an IPO. If that’s the case, the company appears to be taking similar steps as they race toward a target IPO of next year. Enabling employees to sell shares just two years in however doesn’t signal an IPO in the short-term however.

Instead, we’ll need to look for the company to restructure their shares just as Facebook recently did. While Facebook’s current share price is well known among many investors, Zynga’s is not. As such, no reports which we’ve read, state the current valuation of Zynga. Also included in this investment round was Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, and Institutional Ventures Partners. It will be interesting to see who wins the race to IPO, something which many are anticipating will take place at some point later next year.

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