Playdom acquires two companies; raises $43 million

By Erin Bell |

On Wednesday Playdom, the social networking company responsible for Facebook hits like Mobsters and Sorority Life, announced that it had raised $43 million in its first round of outside financing. The very next day the company demonstrated how the money was already being put to use by announcing that it had purchased two game companies: Facebook developer Green Patch, and Trippert Labs, an iPhone and social game developer.

"We are focused on growing Playdom into a world-class gaming company. A number of compelling games are in development for 2010, and we’re bullish about our future and the potential to bring people together through social gaming," said John Pleasants, CEO of Playdom, in a prepared statement.

Pleasants added that Playdom’s players range from ages 13 to 80 and come from more than 150 countries. "Social games appeal to everyone, everywhere … so the opportunity for growth is tremendous."

Playdom currently runs 13 games on platforms including Facebook, MySpace and iPhone. The company is the largest game developer on MySpace and has two of the top five role-playing games on Facebook: Sorority Life and Mobsters 2: Vendetta.

Playdom estimates that by inheriting the user base from Green Patch’s games, Playdom’s overall monthly user base on Facebook will increase by more than 30 percent, representing more than 8 million active users. Green Patch currently has nine gaming apps on Facebook, including (Lil) Green Patch, (Lil) Blue Cove, (Lil) Eco Racer, and (Lil) Farm Life, a resource management game with more than 1 million active users.

Trippert Labs brings a large iPhone user base to Playdom and increases Playdom’s development capacity by more than 25 percent. The company has created dozens of successful apps, including the Facebook game Bug Olympics and iPhone games Dr. Ito’s Brain Training, The Beach, Blowfish, and ZapTap.

Both companies were privately held; Green Patch is based in Palo Alto, California, and Trippert Labs is based in Menlo Park, California. The terms of both transactions were not disclosed.

Playdom currently has more than 190 employees in offices in Mountain View and San Francisco, California, and a game studio in Eugene, Oregon.

Green Patch’s founders, David King and Ashish Dixit, will join Playdom in leadership roles. King will become a vice president, and Dixit will become an executive producer. Together they will grow their existing team of 15 game designers and developers into a robust game studio. Trippert Labs CEO Omar Siddiqui has joined Playdom’s management team as vice president of game production.

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