Zynga makes fourth acquisition: Conduit Labs

18 Aug 2010

Social gaming powerhouse Zynga has acquired Boston-based Conduit Labs in a talent grab that will also allow it to expand to a new gaming studio in one of the epicentres of technology in the US.

Established in 2007 and with relationships with over 100,000 artists, Conduit Labs is building the platform for online music gaming.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Conduit Labs’ CEO, Nabeel Hyatt, will become head of the new Boston studio.

Funded to close to US$9m by Charles River Ventures and Prism VentureWorks, Conduit has developed several free-to-play social games for the web.

“Boston is an epicentre for technology and has a strong talent market, making it an ideal location for us to expand operations,” said Mike Verdu, senior vice- president of games at Zynga.

“As one of the most prominent social game companies in Boston, the Conduit team shares a similar culture and drive with Zynga, and together we anticipate great successes from our new studio.”

Zynga said the latest acquisition – the fourth in four months – along with the recently announced joint venture with SoftBank for the launch of Zynga Japan, continues to extend the company’s footprint worldwide, creating more opportunities for Zynga to connect the world through games.

Zynga is the world’s largest social game developer. More than 215 million monthly active users play its games which include FarmVille, Treasure Isle, Zynga Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Café World, FishVille, PetVille and FrontierVille. Zynga games are available on Facebook, MySpace and the iPhone.

Zynga established its first European operation in Dublin in recent months with IDA support.

The company has already cracked US$500m in revenues and is eyeing revenues north of US$1bn for 2011.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years