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They were probably on the cusp of raising more than this amount before the whole "Scamville" story gave them such a headache.

What is your basis for this assumption? I do not necessarily disagree, by the way - the glut of dull-witted prize bulls in command of large funds jumping at the first sight of anything "viral" is a pretty open secret. Still, I wonder.

They are taking in millions in revenue every day; who knows what the bottom line is, but the investors must have seen it.

If they are taking in millions in revenue daily at anything resembling a high margin, why would they need anyone's ~$180m? As you suggest, such a condition would afford them the dubious distinction of being "on fire"; do you think the lack of ~$180m is all that stood between the incipient, fledgling status quo of Zynga's ramen-profitable basement company and Facebook games "going supernova?"

Do you think $180m can be reasonably dimensioned, at a high return, in a late round, to a company grossing millions a day? Far it be from me to claim authority in this area; my latest capital-intensive, web-savvy proposal - Social VPN over Twitter using base64/uuencode - was a complete flop.

This is a story about Zynga, not geopolitics.

As far as Zynga and as far as Americans should be concerned, you are entirely correct. But it is simply naive to dismiss the enormous role played by considerations of "domestic consumption."

For example, do you think Putin is really a sworn enemy of the West, or do you think public sabre-rattling is an indispensable element of his popularity and interminable hold on power, despite private cooperation and appeasement on a variety of global objectives with the Bush administration and presumably its successor?

Trust me, their lawyers ensured this money is clean.

The pristine crispness of the tender - or the bits that represent it - is not in dispute.

This is complete conjecture, but one of the key reasons may be to cash-out the founders/employees. Companies don't usually cash out their own founders, but investors sure as hell have the right to buy the founder's shares if they want. If they're making so much money but don't have a sale in the near future, the founders might have decided to take a significant stake off the table...

Mark Pincus, for his part, made it very clear that he wasn't in this one to cash out. (Watch his talk from Startup School). He wants to lead the next mega-company.

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