《经济学人》:押宝开心农场
日期:2011-07-07 10:46

(单词翻译:单击)

Technology IPOs:
科技公司上市潮:

Betting the farm
押宝开心农场(美版)

Zynga may be a good business, but the tech bubble is expanding
Zynga可能是一家好企业,但是科技泡沫却正愈演愈烈

Jun 30th 2011 | from the print edition

PLAYERS of FarmVille, an online game, raise virtual chickens on an imaginary farm. Yet they are happy to swap real money for virtual money to buy virtual farm tools. And investors are likely to pay more than chicken feed for shares in Zynga, the firm that makes FarmVille and other online games.

在一款名叫农场物语(美版的开心农场FarmVille)的在线游戏中,玩家可以在农场中养鸡,当然这些鸡和农场都是虚拟的。然而玩家们仍然乐此不疲的用真正的钱去购买虚拟的农具。至于投资者也很可能会向这款游戏的开发商Zynga公司注资入股,当然作为多款在线游戏的开发商,投资者愿意给其股份开出的价格可要比鸡的饲料价格高。

Zynga is expected to file soon for an initial public offering (IPO). Analysts predict that the firm will be valued at between $15 billion and $20 billion. That is about as much as the world’s two biggest video-game makers (Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard) combined.

据估计,Zynga很快将提交IPO(首次公开募股)的申请。分析师预计,这家公司的市值将在150亿美元到200亿美元之间。如果这样的话,Zynga市值将差不多相当于电子艺界(Electronic Arts)以及Activision Blizzard这两家全世界最大的电子游戏公司的市值总和。

More than 271m people play Zynga’s games at least once a month, and the firm said in March that it expects to make a profit this year of $630m on revenues of $1.8 billion. So its business is more real than those of some other online firms. But it is not something a sober investor would bet the farm on. Users may tire of virtual vegetables and online Mafia Wars (another popular Zynga game). Rivals are straining to grab Zynga’s players. Electronic Arts, Playdom and Wooga have only about 30m monthly active users each, but they may catch up.

有超过2.71亿的Zynga游戏玩家每月至少玩该公司的游戏一次,在3月,这家公司预计其今年的总收入将达到18亿美元,同时利润将达到6.3亿美元。所以比起其他网络公司,Zynga的业务收入可是更加实打实的。但是一个头脑清醒的投资者显然不会把宝压在Zynga这家依赖于“农场”的在线游戏开发商身上。玩家们可能只是对虚拟蔬菜,黑帮战争(Mafia Wars另一款Zynga开发的风靡游戏)之类的在线游戏图一时的新鲜。而Zynga的竞争对手也正全力抢占Zynga的用户。像现在电子艺界(Electronic Arts)、Plyadom还有Wooga这些公司每月的活跃用户分别都只有3000万左右,但是他们可能会迎头赶上。

What is more, Zynga depends on two other firms, Amazon and Facebook, like the cabbage crop depends on the rain. Although it operates data centres of its own, it outsources much of its computing to Amazon Web Services, the cloud-computing arm of the online shopping giant. More importantly, most users play Zynga’s games on Facebook. In September the social network pushed Zynga into using its virtual currency, called “Facebook Credits”, so Facebook gets 30% of what Zynga’s users spend.

而且,就像卷心菜的收成取决于降雨的多少,Zynga依赖亚马逊(Amazon)和脸谱(Facebook)这两家公司,Zynga得看这两家公司的脸色。虽然Zynga的数据中心由自己运营,但是其大多数的计算任务都外包给了亚马逊(Amazon)的网络服务部门,该部门是这家网上书店巨头用以提供云计算服务的。更重要的是,绝大多数Zynga的用户都是在脸谱(Facebook)上玩Zynga的游戏。在9月,这家社交网站强迫Zynga采用其名叫“脸谱币”(Facebook Credits)的虚拟货币,从而使得“脸谱”(Facebook)可以从Zynga用户的花费中获得30%的分成。

With Zynga gearing up for its IPO, the question now is which other tech start-up is next in line to go public. With Groupon, an online coupon service, also about to float, the supply of hot stocks is running low.

Zynga已经为IPO做好了准备,接下来的问题就是下一家新的上市科技公司会是谁。而随着在线团购网高朋网(Groupon)的临近上市,这波热门科技股的上市潮也将接近尾声。

But Silicon Valley venture capitalists are busy replenishing the pool. On June 24th it emerged that foursquare, a location-based service, had raised $50m, a deal that values it at $600m. (Foursquare lets users electronically “check in” at bars and restaurants so their friends can join them—and the people who owe them money can avoid them.) A few days later investors pumped $100m into Square, a mobile-payments start-up, valuing it at $1 billion. Neither firm ha s ever turned a profit.

但是硅谷的风险投资家却正忙于为科技股的上市池中增添新鲜血液。6月24日,一家名叫foursqure的公司浮出水面,这是一家基于为用户提供地理位置信息服务的网站,在当天,该网站募集到了5000万美元资金,在这项融资协议中对foursquare的估值达到了6亿美元(foursqure让其用户“检入”某个地点,该地点可以是酒吧或者饭店,这样其朋友就会知道其位置从而能够加入他们一起,而欠他们钱的的人则可以回避这些地方。)几天后,投资者又向一家名叫square的新成立的移动支付公司注资1亿美元,同时对其给出10亿美元的估值。而这两家公司都还未实现盈利。

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重点单词
  • siliconn. 硅
  • soberadj. 清醒的,沉着冷静的,稳重的,颜色暗淡的 vt.
  • socialadj. 社会的,社交的 n. 社交聚会
  • bubblen. 气泡,泡影 v. 起泡,冒泡
  • electronicallyadv. 电子地
  • predictv. 预知,预言,预报,预测
  • venturen. 冒险,风险,投机 v. 尝试,谨慎地做,冒险一试
  • expanding扩展的,扩充的
  • networkn. 网络,网状物,网状系统 vt. (以网络)覆
  • blizzardn. 暴风雪 n. 暴雪 极负盛名的美国游戏软件制作公司