Zynga's Bid for Draw Something May Top $200 MIllion


By Om Malik, GigaOM

What a strange story – a New York-based startup thatbegan its life as a dating-gaming company, went through manyincarnations has finally hit the jackpot. OMGPOP, the company behind Draw Something, a mobile and Internetgameainspiredaby Pictionary, is being activelypursued by Zynga, which is considering offering $200 millionfor the fast growing game-maker, sources familiar with thecompanies tell us.

Earlier this morning KimMai Cutler first reported that OMGPOP was being pursued by SanFrancisco-based Zynga and was being valued between $150 million to$250 million. aCutler reports that Japanese gaming companies DeNAand GREE are also in the bidding for the hit-game maker.

The company saw total downloads for Draw Something blast past 30million. My colleague Ryan Kim in a post earlier this monthchronicled the rise of Draw Something:

The app has generated about 2 billion drawings and is still being played daily by more than half of its users, who are exchanging pictures at a rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a second. And Draw Something, which is adding more than 1 million users a day, is pulling in low six figures in revenue a day, (CEO Dan) Porter said, mostly from upgrades but also in-app purchases and advertising.

Zynga bought Words with Friends maker New Toy inDecember 2010 for just north of $50 million. The company behindDraw Something is being valued nearly four times that. The OMGPOPacquisition would be in sync with MarkPincus’ (Zynga’s founder and CEO) views on mobilegaming and how it can actually compete with television forattention.

With every week’s delay, the value of OMGPOP increases,closely tracking its user and engagement growth, which in turn iscatalyzing revenues.aThe company which was initially funded byBetaworks has raised a total of $17 million from investors such asSpark Capital.

OMGPOP is the newest incarnation of Iminlikewithyou, which was co-founded by CharlesForman and Dan Albritton and came out of YCombinator. When itlaunched in early 2007, I was quite addicted to the web-mobileservice and dubbed it “ lovein the time of Facebook.” The company hit an air pocket.The company switched gears to making browser-based games, thenshifted focus to Facebook games, before eventually settling onmobile games. They found success with Draw Something. Of course, bynow both founders are gone.

Regardless of what comes of the acquisition offer, it is hardnot to feel amazed by the turn of events for this five-year-oldcompany that has been trying and losing and trying again to findits groove. As for the final bids – stay tuned.

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http://gigaom.com/2012/03/19/zyngas-bid-for-draw-something-may-top-200-million/

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