Ten months after joining Maveron as an entrepreneur-in-residence, Zynga co-founder Andrew Trader has strengthened his role with the Seattle venture capital firm. Trader today was appointed to the position of venture partner, operating from the company’s San Francisco offices.
“Together we’ll invest in rock star entrepreneurs and help teams build successful businesses,” said Trader in a press release.
Trader co-founded Zynga in 2007, helping the social gaming powerhouse drive revenue, marketing and user acquisition. User acquisition is something that every upstart consumer Internet company needs, and since Zynga now boasts more than 230 million monthly users, it is obviously something that Trader is pretty good at.
Prior to Zynga — where TechCrunch says he was “unceremoniously ousted” in March 2010 — Trader worked at Utah Street Networks (operator of Tribe.net) and Coremetrics.
Founded in 1998 by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and former investment banker Dan Levitan, Maveron focuses exclusively on fast-growing consumer-oriented companies.
In Seattle, that includes fast-growing Zulily and recently-backed Decide.com. It is also a backer of Groupon, which like Zynga is currently getting ready for an IPO.
Back in the day, Maveron invested in Seattle board game maker Cranium. But it hasn’t made many recent bets in the social gaming sector — though it is a backer of casino marketing service GameLogic.
Could Trader signal a deeper move by Maveron into gaming? One interesting area to watch will be the crossroads of gaming and education, the latter of which being an area where Maveron already has a number of bets.