News broke yesterday evening that social gaming giant Zynga has raised $150 million from Japanese firm Softbank Capital, bringing the company’s total funding up to a whopping $366 million. We’ve confirmed the funding from sources close to Zynga.
The investment from Asia will likely pave the way for Zynga’s expansion into the Japanese market. Zynga already has interests in the Asian market. The company just bought Chinese gaming company XPD Media and opened up an office in Beijing. And earlier this year, Zynga set up shop in Bangalore, India. According to a report by VentureBeat in April, this latest investment is likely part of a larger partnership with Softbank in Japan.
The social gaming market in Asia has potential both in terms of a massive user base and talent. But as Zynga expands its footprint to these areas, the company will also encounter a number of worthy competitors in the region, including Japan’s DeNa group and China’s Tencent and Shanda.
Zynga was founded in July 2007 by Mark Pincus and is named for his late American Bulldog, Zinga. Loyal and spirited, Zinga’s name is a nod to a legendary African warrior queen. The early supporting founding team included Eric Schiermeyer, Michael Luxton, Justin Waldron, Kyle Stewart, Scott Dale, John Doerr, Steve Schoettler, Kevin Hagan, and Andrew Trader. Zynga’s mission is connecting the world through games. Everyday millions of people interact with their friends and express their unique personalities through our...