Russia’s DST invests in Zynga

Social games provider to receive $180 million

Russia’s biggest Internet investment company Digital Sky Technologies Wednesday bought $180 million of securities, along with other investors, in the world’s largest social game provider Zynga.

DST, which was founded in 2005 by Internet pioneers Yuri Milner and Gregory Finger, holds a 3.5% stake in Facebook and is committed to a global Internet investment strategy.

Wednesday’s deal, in which DST was the lead investor, will not give the company any voting rights or a board place in Zynga, a privately held company that makes games for social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Other new investors pledging coin, which Zynga says it will use to fuel growth and facilitate liquidity for employees and investors, include Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global.

Zynga generates most of its revenue by selling add-on tools to players of games such as FishVille where virtual food and goods can be brought with gaming cash purchased with real cash.

Virtual goods sells for between $1 and $20 and are used by players to create more complex and enjoyable games.

Social games enables “millions around the world to connect and play together everyday,” said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga in a statement.

We are excited about our relationship with DST as they are a global player dedicated to creating services that are meaningful to consumers in the long term.”

Yuri Milner, chief executive of DST, said: “We share in Zynga’s mission of connecting people through games and believe they are in a solid position with their team, offerings and market share to succeed in a dramatic way.”

Zynga has over 230 million monthly active users of games such as FarmVille, Cafe World, Zynga Poker, YoVille, FishVille and recently announced PetVille, the fastest growing social game online.

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