August 8, 2010

Google acquires Slide, invests in Zynga, building game-oriented (?) Facebook challenger

Google has acquired Slide, maker of entertainment apps for Facebook and other social networks, for $182 million. TechCrunch breaks down how the money was split between founders and investors. It is worth to remember that Slide raised $50 million on a $500 million valuation in early 2008. Google's acquisition of Slide becomes a good example of how liquidation preferences make sure later stage investors get their money back when a company sells for less than the valuation at the time of a Series C or D investment.

The acquisition is said to be a part of a larger push by Google into social networking, likely with social games as a primary driver. Using games as the the killer app for a social network is smart, as games can have a single/few player mode that don't require millions of users to be fun. According to reports, Google has also invested more than $100 million in Zynga, maker of Farmville and many other of the most popular games on Facebook.

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