BANGALORE/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Zynga Inc may file for a multibillion-dollar IPO as early as this week, tech blog AllThingsDigital reported, as the maker of the Farmville and Mafia Wars games for Facebook heads toward a long-awaited market debut.
The social gaming phenomenon behind a series of popular games on Facebook has enlisted Goldman Sachs to be among its lead bankers, the blog cited unidentified sources as saying, hot on the heels of LinkedIn Corp’s explosive debut.
The privately held four-year-old firm backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Andreesen Horowitz could file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week or next week at the latest, the blog said.
Zynga could price itself higher than the $10 billion it was valued at in its latest round of funding, after LinkedIn’s stock more than doubled on its first trading day, underscoring rabid demand for Internet IPOs, the blog said.
LinkedIn was the first prominent U.S. social networking company to test just how hungry investors were for social media companies such as Facebook, Groupon and Twitter, which are expected to go public in coming months.
Zynga — named after founder Mark Pincus’ bulldog, Zinga — has expanded rapidly through small acquisitions at the rate of about one a month in the past year, as it seeks to dominate the casual gaming market and expand internationally.
It claims to host more than 50 million active users a day and over 215 million users a month, ranking it the largest and most active social gaming network on the Internet.
And its market is exploding: research firm eMarketer estimates that overall revenue from social games could hit $1.09 billion this year from $856 million in 2010.
Zynga’s other investors include LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Digital Sky Technologies.
Reporting by Himank Sharma in Bangalore and Edwin Chan; editing by Andre Grenon, Gary Hill