Facebook Acquires Mobile-Software Startup Onavo

Onavo builds analytics software in addition to data-compression tools.

Facebook has acquired Israeli mobile-analytics firm Onavo for an undisclosed firm.

Onavo co-founder and CEO Guy Rosen offered a standard-issue statement about the acquisition on his company’s blog. “We’ve built world-class products and a remarkably talented team which has pioneered important breakthroughs in data compression technology and mobile analytics,” he wrote. “Today, we’re eager to take the next step and make an even bigger impact by supporting Facebook’s mission to connect the world.”

Onavo’s mobile utility apps will continue to run as a standalone brand, and the team apparently plans to work on the newly launched Internet.org, a Facebook-led effort to bring the Internet at an affordable price to developing nations. “We’re excited to join their team,” Rosen added, “and hope to play a critical role in reaching one of Internet.org’s most significant goals—using data more efficiently, so that more people around the world can connect and share.”

Left unsaid is how Onavo’s portfolio, which includes data-compression tools in addition to software for measuring apps’ data consumption, will strengthen Facebook’s core assets. Certainly Onavo’s emphasis on smartphone technology plays well into Facebook’s recent obsession with mobile. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson suggested that Onavo’s compression and analytics products would both play significant roles in making Facebook’s software for tablets and smartphones more efficient.

TechCrunch, which estimated the deal as worth between $100 million and $200 million, hinted that Onavo’s offices would serve as an “anchor” for Facebook in Israel.

Facebook’s mobile initiatives have enjoyed a degree of success, powering a quarterly increase in revenues and helping erase the stigma of its botched IPO. Despite its billion-member user base and enviable mind-share, however, the social network continues to face competition for ad dollars and eyeballs from the likes of Google, which continues to push its own Google Plus social hub, and Twitter, which is on the verge of launching its own IPO.

 

Image: Onavo

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