Aug 1, 2019

Why Zynga sold its home to fund its future

Image: Zynga

Although it's certainly a luxury to own a home in the Bay Area, Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau said it was better for the casual-game maker to sell its prime San Francisco headquarters and use the money to fund acquisitions.

Why it matters: The money raised from the sale, combined with the proceeds of a convertible bond offering, gives the company $1.4 billion in cash.

  • "We are a games company, not a real estate company. It was a wonderful asset and it had appreciated a lot," Gibeau said in an interview in conjunction with the company's quarterly earnings report on Wednesday.
  • "We didn't have a company we are going to buy next Tuesday that we needed the money for," Gibeau said. But acquisitions will eventually let the company expand into new markets and onto new devices, and get more game titles running on its engine.

Go deeper: Zynga CEO on going from offense to defense

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The Athletic is experimenting with free content

The Athletic, a subscription-based digital sports media company, will begin experimenting with putting some of its audio content in front of its paywall in an effort to expand its audience, a source familiar with the plans tells Axios.

What's new: The company will start by offering one episode a week to non-subscribers in front of the paywall and one behind. The goal is to offer people who might be less likely subscribe to The Athletic the ability to sample some of company's content.

Go deeperArrowAug 27, 2019

Antitrust casualties: The deals that don't get done

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There's a reason it's hard to gauge the impact of antitrust investigations: Their effect is often felt in the form of acquisitions that aren't made.

Driving the news: Facebook ditched negotiations that were underway late last year to acquire Houseparty, a video-based social network, the New York Times' Mike Isaac reported Monday. Facebook feared giving more ammunition to antitrust regulators who have paid it growing attention because of its dominant market position.

Go deeperArrowAug 13, 2019

News aggregation app SmartNews reaches $1 billion valuation

Screen shot from SmartNews.com

SmartNews, the Japanese news discovery app that has amassed 20 million global monthly active users, has raised $28 million in its latest funding round, bringing the company's valuation to $1.1 billion, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: It's notable that in today's bleak news market where U.S. tech giants like Google and Facebook dominate most news referral traffic online, a Japanese-based firm has been able to gain traction. SmartNews is one of the few news-related startups to achieve "unicorn" status, or a valuation of over $1 billion, in years.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019