Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was one of the hottest tech startups a few years ago. But today the company is struggling to revive its business as its key rival King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING) recently went public. Graphic Design Degree Hub has come up with an interesting infographic on the rise and fall of the company that once ruled the social gaming world.
Zynga was initially named Presido Media
The journey began in 2007 when Mark Pincus founded Presido Media. Later that year, name of the startup was changed to Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) after Mark Pincus’ American bulldog Zinga. The company received its first venture capital funding of $5 million in 2008 when it had just 27 employees. VCs poured in another $209 million in 2009. The funding helped the company create some exciting new gaming titles.
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was developing games for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) platforms. Its first hit games began gaining popularity. The company launched Mafia Wars in 2008, FarmVille in 2009 and CityVille in 2010. FarmVille was a massive success. In just two months of its official release, the gaming title had over a million daily active users (DAUs). And by the end of 2009, more than 20% Facebook users were playing FarmVille.
Riding high on the success of its gaming titles on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) platform, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) went public in December 2011 at $10 apiece. At the time, it was the biggest IPO since Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s public offering in 2004. The stock continued to soar and rose to as high as $14.69 on March 2, 2012.
The beginning of Zynga’s downward spiral
Then began its downward spiral. The company took a big gamble with its move away from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) slowly tried to shift to mobile, and launched its own gaming website Zynga.com. But none of its subsequent releases The Ville, FarmVille 2, ChefVille could taste massive success like previous titles. The rising popularity of King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING)’s Candy Crush Saga took millions of users away from Zynga. As a result, its stock began to tumble, falling as low as $2.09 in November 2012.
After a management shakeup, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) began a massive restructuring program. The San Francisco-based company slashed its workforce by 18% in 2013 to save $70-$80 million in costs. It has launched mobile-friendly versions of its popular games FarmVille, Zynga Poker and Words with Friends in an attempt to revive user growth.
Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares inched up 0.44% to $3.42 at 10:32 AM EDT on Wednesday.