Welcome to the Virtual Goods News Wrap-Up for the week of July 30, 2010. The Wrap-Up is where VGN spotlights stories that we didn't get to cover individually, but still make for interesting reading about the virtual goods industry.
- DST: A Mutual Fund Of Hot Startups, With A Russian Accent: Facebook and Zynga backer DST is rumored to be offering an IPO soon. While DST doesn't own a majority share in any of the tech companies it's backing, it owns big enough shares of each of them that the company functions as a sort of mutual fund of hot tech start-ups. DST also has substantial tech holdings in Russia, including the virtual goods-oriented company mail.ru.
- Facebook Said To Put Off IPO Until 2012 To Buy Time For Growth: Though CEO Mark Zuckerberg could push for a share sale at any time, Facebook is likely to spend another year trying to spur growth as a private company before going public. Bloomberg speculates that Zuckerberg isn't yet willing to accept the additional responsibilities that would come with being the CEO of a publicly held company. Among other problems, Facebook must contend with challenges like how it manages user data. Numerous other companies in the tech sector are also delaying their IPOs. In the meantime, Facebook is selling shares on the private market.
- Social Game Maker Zynga Hires A New CFO; Are More Acquisitions Coming?: Zynga hired a new CFO this week: Dave Wehner, former managing director at Allen & Co. Wehner's background is in raising capital and assisting with acquisitions, so his hire is likely to fuel speculation regarding a potential Zynga IPO.
- Virtual Good Losses Lower Than Other Digital Good Sales: Hypergrid Business examines the CyberSource fraud story from earlier this week, arguing that most of the fraud in the digital goods category is not associated with the sorts of virtual goods that are bought and sold in virtual worlds. What drives higher fraud in the digital category is a need for instantaneous download of content, which is less pressing for delivery of virtual goods to a particular player account. Delivery inside a particular platform helps safeguard against fraud.
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