UPDATED 13:04 EDT / NOVEMBER 29 2010

Zynga Investors Plant Seeds in Vostu, Brazil’s Take on Social Gaming Success

Vostu, a fast growing start-up with a notable success in Brazil at the moment, has gained the attention of some famed investors, raising a cool $30 million in funding today.  The social game maker is welcoming Jim Breyer, Accel partner and Facebook board member, to its board of directors as part of the deal.

The success of Vostu on the Brazilian market is similar to Zynga’s success in the US and beyond, as the creator of FarmVille, the poster child for popular social games taking advantage of viral, real-time game play.  Vostu’s Mini Fazenda offers users a game similar to FarmVille, in which players run agriculture-related businesses: they cultivate, buy, trade and make profits in the virtual environment.

According to CEO Daniel Kafie, who cofounded Vostu with two classmates from Harvard University, Joshua Kushner and Mario Schlosser, “Vostu is profitable and well-capitalized and continues to grow at an extraordinary pace”.

The recent partnership between Zynga and Yahoo emphasizes the spectacular influence the former has in the social media domain. The plans for the partnership are not recent at all, but striking the deal was postponed due to the tremendous popularity of Zynga on Facebook, among other things. Besides Farmville, Mafia Wars and Frontier Ville, Zynga is also making profits with Zynga Poker, at the moment hosting almost 6 million players per day and having almost 400,000 active players. Poker Zynga offers players the possibility of borrowing jetons from their friends if they use up all of their own, instead of having to wait for the next day’s offer.

Developer Analytics has reported that the unexpected growth of Zynga’s social games is directly linked with Facebook’s  hundreds of million users, despite changes Facebook made in terms of social media marketing capabilities and incentive methods within one’s social graph. Out of 400 million users, more than 65 million persons play daily at least one of the Farmville, Mafia Wars, Fishville or Zynga Poker.


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