Kleiner Perkins, IVP lead $29m social gaming financing

The Silicon Valley-based venture firms have signed on to lead a funding round for Zynga. Recent Kleiner Perkins hire and founding employee of gaming company Electronic Arts, Bing Gordon, will join Zynga’s board.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners have led a $29 million (€18.5 million) funding round for social gaming service Zynga.

The financing round also includes previous investors Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group and Avalon Ventures. Previous investor The Pilot Group did not participate.

The capital will be used to develop the network, its products and build site infrastructure. Zynga currently has 55 million registered players and its games are available on social networks Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5 and Friendster.

Kleiner Perkins partner Bing Gordon will join the board of directors of Zynga. Gordon, former chief creative officer of computer and video game company Electronic Arts, joined the Silicon Valley venture firm in June. Gordon was a founding employee of Electronic Arts when he joined the fledgling company’s marketing department in 1982.

Gaming and social networking sites are increasingly popular areas for venture investment. Earlier this month, GCube Ventures launched the first “stage-agnostic investment firm” to focus solely on the industry. Other companies to receive venture funding include microblogging service Twitter, social gaming company I’m In Like With You, professional networking site LinkedIn and opinion community site SodaHead.