Zynga, the online game developer that made Facebook a safe haven for desk-bound farmers and wannabe Mafia hit men, has decided to cash in on all the fun with an initial public offering filing Friday that expects to raise $1 billion.
Zynga’s S-1 SEC filing begins with a chatty, casual appeal from founder and CEO Mark Pincus: “At Zynga, we feel a personal connection to our games through our friends and family. I love that my brother-in-law, who has five kids and no free time, religiously plays our game Words with Friends.”
But the filing also confirms that it is not all fun and games at the 4-year-old company, which has 2,000 employees and boasts 60 million daily active users. There’s a big differentiator from some other red-hot tech IPOs that have exploded in value on their first day of trading in 2011.
They make money. About $90 million on revenues of nearly $600 million last year.
Zynga hopes to raise as much as $2 billion in a public debut that could value it at as much as $20 billion, “people close to the deal” told the Wall Street Journal. This probably will not be a game of chance for Zynga, what the prevailing “What dot-com bust?” attitude on Wall Street for internet, tech and similar IPOs.