Zynga, the social gaming company founded by Mark Pincus in 2007, hopes to raise $1 billion in an IPO that follows upon the heels of the LinkedIn and Groupon IPOs of the last few months. Zynga's IPO is expected to offer 10 percent of its shares to the public at a valuation of $20 billion. Here are ten things you should know about Zynga and its July 1 S-1 filing.
1. Unlike Groupon, Zynga is profitable. The company reported $90.6 million in profit in 2010. In Q1 of 2011, Zynga reported an $11.8 million profit. Zynga's 2010 revenues were $597.46 million. For the first quarter of 2011, its revenue was $235.42 million.
2. Zynga's IPO features three categories of shares: Class A, B and C. Class A shares will be issued to public shareholders. Class B and C shares belong to senior executives and investors. CEO Mark Pincus owns all of the Class C shares. Pincus made almost $110 million by selling a percentage of his class B shares back to Zynga last March.
3. Zynga's investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Union Square Ventures, DST Global, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Google, Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global and Kevin Rose. Key investors own the following percentages of Class B Shares: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers owns 11 percent; IVP, Foundry Ventures and Avalon Ventures each own 6.1 percent; DST Global owns 5.8 percent and Union Square Ventures takes claim to 5.5 percent.
4. Zynga is the biggest developer of Facebook applications such as CityVille, FarmVille, Mafia Wars, Words with Friends and Zynga Poker. The company has 60 million daily active users on Facebook and more daily active users than the next 30 Facebook social game developers combined.
5. Zynga has the top two games in the word category for the Apple App Store for iPhone.
7. "Substantially all" of Zynga's revenue derives from the Facebook platform. Any decisions made by Facebook that adversely affect Zynga's gaming operations would have significant repercussions on its revenue stream.
8. Zynga sees its market opportunity in the context of: a) the growth of social networking; b) a culture of the "app economy" whereby developers have access to social network platforms; and c) A "free-to-play" gaming culture that allows users to play games for free, thereby attracting a broader set of users and a richer ecosystem for social interaction within the gaming environment.
9. Zynga cites its cloud-based technology infrastructure as one of its core strengths. Zynga uses Amazon's EC2 platform as a testing stage for its applications before migrating them to its own cloud-based infrastructure. The company's cloud-based infrastructure carries with it the ability to provision "tools [that] have enabled us to add up to 1,000 servers in a 24-hour period in response to game demand," according to its S-1 filing.
10. Notable challenges Zynga foresees include its dependence on Facebook, the small percentage of players that are responsible for company revenue, the challenge of developing quality games for mobile platforms and non-PC platforms more generally and the difficulty of recruiting and maintaining world class talent.