Farmville Maker Files for $1 Billion IPO

Zynga, the online gaming company responsible for Farmville and other Facebook games that once littered your social networking wall with dorky updates, is the latest tech company to file for a ridiculously large IPO. How large, you ask? Just in case you thought that's a typo in the title, it's not; Zynga really and truly expects to raise $1 billion. Don't be surprised if it does.

Citing people briefed on the matter, the New York Times is reporting that Zynga will likely offer up 10 percent of its shares at a valuation near or above $20 billion. Morgan Stanley will lead the offering, with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merill Lynch, Allen & Company, and Barclays Capital also participating.

In its filing with the SEC, Zynga claims to have 60 million daily active users in 166 countries. There are 232 million monthly active users contributing to 2 billion minutes of play per day and 38,000 virtual items being created every second. In just over four years, Zynga claims to have generated over $1.5 billion bookings. Zynga reported over $597 million in revenue in 2010, and more than $235 million so far in 2011. So what does it all mean?

It means that Zynga is about as close to printing money as you can get without actually owning a printing press, and don't be surprised to see investors bite. All Zynga's doing is following the lead of other social Web companies that recently went public, including LinkedIn, which doubled its IPO price on its first day of trading to become worth $9 billion, the most since Google went public.