Zynga Raising $147 Million from Softbank

(Reuters) – Softbank Corp (9984.T) hopes to accelerate its push into Asia, after it bought a stake in U.S. game developer Zynga Game Network Inc for about 13.5 billion yen ($147.4 million) through a private placement earlier this month, the Nikkei business daily reported. 

Softbank would localize Zynga’s games for its cellular phone service and for websites operated by subsidiary Yahoo Japan Corp (4689.T) in Japan, and would also jointly promote Zynga’s games in other parts of Asia, the business daily said.

Zynga, which boasts a monthly increase in subscribers of more than 235 million, develops games that are offered on Facebook and MySpace and can also be downloaded onto Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhones, the Nikkei said.

Hoping to fuel growth via mobile Internet services and a focus on China and other Asian markets, Softbank has been buying stakes in Internet-related firms, the business daily said.

In 2008, it contributed about 10 billion yen to China’s top social networking firm, Oak Pacific Interactive, and formed joint ventures for Asian operations with U.S. social applications developer RockYou and online video broadcaster Ustream, the Nikkei said.

($1=91.60 Yen) (Reporting by Megha Mandavia in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)

peHUB Note: Zynga previously raised around $240 million in total VC funding, from Digital Sky Technologies, Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, Institutional Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group and Avalon Ventures.