Zynga Takes $180 Million Venture Round From DST, Others (Cue Russian Mafia Jokes)

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Zynga, one of the stars of the Scamville drama, has raised a big round of funding – $180 million. Digital Sky Technologies, Tiger Global, Institutional Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz all participated in the round. The company has now raised $219 million in total.

DST, which has invested $300 million in Facebook this year, led the round. As with Facebook, some of DST’s investment will be used to buy shares directly from employees.

The NYTimes notes that one of DST’s major shareholders, Alisher Usmanov, spent six years in an Uzbek jail for fraud and embezzlement in the 1980s. Usmanov says he was jailed for political reasons, and Zynga investor Kleiner Perkins says there’s no problem with DST.

That won’t stop people making cracks about the Russian Mafia investing in Mafia Wars, one of Zynga’s popular social games, though.

Zynga is clearly on a roll, and some people have speculated that their revenue may be greater than Facebook’s. One thing is clear, Facebook and Zynga are very, very close. Zynga is Facebook’s largest advertiser, say multiple sources. And they now share DST as a major shareholder. And Marc Andreessen, now a Zynga investor, sits on Facebook’s board of directors.

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