Russian Internet group DST (Digital Sky Technologies), which recently help merge leading Russian online portal Mail.ru with online games publisher Astrum Online Entertainment, has led $180 million investment in world’s #1 social games company Zynga, according to NYTimes.com. The other investors in the round included Tiger Global, Institutional Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. The new funds, of which a majority comes from DST, will be used to purchase both new shares and shares from employees and previous investors, according to Zynga blog.
On picture, see Mark Pincus, Zynga CEO and his dog Zinga, under which Zynga was named.
The investment shall help Zynga to localize and market its social games to Russian social networks, which have the world’s most engaged social networking audience, such as Odnoklassniki.ru, MoiMir@Mail.ru and VKontakte, where DST owns major stakes.
Founded in 2007, Zynga has over 230 million monthly active players of its games FarmVille, Cafe World, Zynga Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, FishVille, and PetVille, of which more than one million users purchase virtual goods and account for 90 percent of company revenues.
The investment will imply that there shall be good business relationships between DST and Tiger Global. In summer 2008, DST bought out Tiger’s shares in Mail.ru to obtain a majority stake in the company. DST recently sold its stake in cinema information site KinoPoisk.ru to Tiger-controlled AlloCine of France. DST and Tiger own a majority stake in leading Polish social network Nasza-Klasa.