Vator Box to Zynga - go on acquisition spree

Bambi Francisco Roizen · September 14, 2009 · Short URL:

Adeo Ressi, founder of TheFunded, is guest host analyzing the No. 1 social gaming company on the Web

Zynga, the hottest social gaming company with 100 million users, is believed to be raising another round of financing, which will most likely result in a significant valuation for the hot social gaming company. And, Zynga, which operates games such as Texas Hold 'em, Farmville, and Mafia Wars, should go on an acquisition spree to pick up popular gaming franchises. These are just a couple observations and comments made on this week's Vator Box, which features guest host Adeo Ressi, founder of TheFunded and TheFunded Founder Institute, Ezra Roizen (Vator Box regular and digital media investment banker) and me. In the spotlight this week is Zynga, which on Monday was reported to have settled its Mob Wars litigation.

Here's a few highlights about our view of Zynga. 

- While games have sticking power, they don't have eternal sticking power. Gaming is a hits business with the invariable challenge of always having to come up with hits

- If gaming is a hits business, Zynga should buy up hit franchises, like Playfirst, and sprinkle some Zynga juice on them

- It's not will Zynga be successful, it's how successful will it be?

- Zynga Founder and CEO Mark Pincus Mark Pincus has hit rock star status. He's the Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google)/Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google) of the gaming industry.

- Mark should start expanding his drink selection for sale, like coffee, at his Texas Hold 'em tables

- Word on the street is Zynga is raising a new round. As Adeo says it, "I think Mark is going to pull in an obscenely large round with an obscenely large valuation."

Watch the show for more! 

Vator Box is Vator's version of Siskel & Ebert meets American Idol. Every two weeks, we put one startup in the spotlight and with our guest host, we analyze and discuss the prospects of the company. We've been fortunate to have some amazing guest hosts, from Google's Marissa Mayer and Guy Kawasaki. Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus was also once a guest host. Our next guest host will be Howard Hartenbaum, a venture capitalist at August Capital and an early investor in Skype. 

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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TheFunded is a place where entrepreneurs and founders can rate and opine about venture capitalists. 

TheFunded Founder Institute

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TheFunded Founder Institute is a new founder-centric incubator that trains new and seasoned entrepreneurs the best practices for building next generation companies. The unique 4-month program offers remote participation, the industry’s most founder-friendly terms, focused mentorship and training from renowned CEOs, resources from leading service partners, fundraising opportunities at fair market value, and shared equity upside among all participants in the companies formed. Passionate founders can apply today at – registration ends on May 10th, 2009.




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Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users.  Zynga’s games are available on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Yahoo! and the iPhone, and include Texas Hold’Em Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Vampires, Street Racing, Scramble and Word Twist.  The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, IVP, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Pilot Group, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel.  Zynga is headquartered at the Chip Factory in San Francisco.  For more information, please visit


Adeo Ressi

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Ezra Roizen

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Advisor-to and commenter-on emerging ventures