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Zynga founder Mark Pincus. Photo: Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty Images

Zynga founder Mark Pincus is raising up to $700 million for a new investment fund that will focus on publicly traded tech companies in need of strategic restructuring, Axios has learned.

Details: It's called Reinvent Capital, and Pincus is being joined by veteran hedge fund manager Michael Thompson (ex-BHR Capital).

  • Also involved as a senior adviser is Reid Hoffman, although this is not expected to affect his full-time job as a general partner with VC firm Greylock. Expect him to only spend around one day per month on Reinvent business, with Pincus and Thompson making all of the investment decisions.
  • Pincus, Thompson and Hoffman each are committing $33 million toward the $700 million target. Hoffman's investment (and any subsequent returns) is coming via his family foundation.
  • The strategy is to invest in 7–15 internet, software and media companies that Reinvent believes it can help steer in a smarter direction. This is mostly expected to mean working with company founders, as Pincus is part of the founder-friendly club that doesn't believe in becoming adversarial.
  • It appears to be company size agnostic, willing to work with small, medium and large-cap companies.

The big question, of course, is if investors will decide that Pincus is qualified to lead such a strategy.

  • His argument will be that he built Zynga into a social gaming powerhouse with over $1 billion in annual revenue and that he later returned to help right a ship that had been severely maimed by Facebook. And he'll have numbers to back that up, as Zynga is now profitable and has had four straight years of increased revenue (expected to be around $900m for 2018). Plus, the stock is up over 50% from when he returned as CEO.

The counterargument, of course, will be that Pincus was in charge when Zynga became over-reliant on Facebook in the first place and that the stock bump still only brings the company to $4.26 per share — versus an IPO price of $10 per share.

Pincus declined to comment, due to SEC restrictions.

Go deeper: Zynga buys Small Giant Games in its biggest acquisition yet

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”