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Cash for Casual Games: $29m for Zynga

zynga“Casual Games,” the buzzword and category for titles that are easy to approach, fast to learn, and playable regardless of skill level remains the hot zone for gaming investment.  Today, news broke that San Francisco based Zynga, makers of casual games for social networks, closed a staggering $29m series B financing.

Founded in part by Tribe founder Mark Pincus, Zynga’s  titles include card games like poker and blackjack along with reinterpretations of board and word games.  According to the company, 55million people are registered and growth is estimated as high as 450k new players a day.    On a monthly basis, they say, more than 18million people are playing the titles on social networks including Facebook, Bebo, Friendster and Meebo. 

The company has offices in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Toronto.  They earn revenue through advertising and the sale of game add-on’s.

In January, Zynga raised $10million in a Series A round led by Union Square Ventures.  The new round was led by Kleiner Perkins and also included contributions from Institutional Venture Partners and prior investors Union Square, the Foundry Group, and Avalon Ventures.  Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman and Bob Pittman are also on the shareholder roster.

As part of the transaction, Kleiner partner and former EA Chief Creative Officer William “Bing” Gordon will join the company’s board of directors.


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