Zynga acquires Serious Business

Chris Caceres · February 11, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/db9

Social gaming giant gobbles up Serious Business, maker of Facebook Game, "Friends for Sale"

Zynga, the social gaming company behind the insanely popular Facebook game Farmville, has signed an agreement to acquire Serious Business.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

San Francisco-based Serious Business' largest game on Facebook was Friends For Sale.  The game reached about one million daily active users according to an interview with CEO Siqi Chen.  As for business model, the startup was mainly working on selling virtual goods.  "Almost 90% of our revenue comes from virtual goods, although we do some branded advertising with partners like AppSavvy and AdNectar. Out of our virtual goods revenue, 90% comes from direct payments," Chen said.  

Although Serious Business' numbers aren't anywhere near Zynga's 60 million daily active users or rumored valuation, Zynga seemed to be interested in the quality of the startup's company and the style of its games.  

“We’re very excited to gain an experienced team that is committed to building social games,” said Vish Makhijani, chief operating officer at Zynga said in a statement.  “We are impressed with Serious Business’ entrepreneurial attitude, speed, and innovation in developing social games and welcome them to our team.”

The deal will bring employees of Serious Business to join Zynga's team at its HQ in San Francisco.  

Serious Business raised a total of $4 million in venture capital from Lightspeed Venture Partners back in 2008.  

We should expect to see more deals like this throughout the coming year as larger social gaming companies look to expand their game portfolios.  Afterall, people get bored of games eventually and look for new ones to play.  This will only speed up the process in which Zynga delivers new games across social networks like Facebook and MySpace, and just recently MSN Games.

If you haven't checked it out yet, here's Mark Pincus' keynote from our Vator Splash event last week, '10 chapters to scaling an Internet property.'

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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 www.zynga.com.

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