Facebook Buys Mobile Analytics Company Onavo… And (Finally?) Gets Its Office In Israel

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    » Facebook Buys Mobile Analytics Company Onavo… And (Finally?) Gets Its
    Office In Israel

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    By Ingrid
    Lunden
    Onavo

    Big news for a Monday morning/late Sunday night
    (depending on where you are): Onavo, the Tel Aviv-based mobile
    analytics company, has just announced that it has been acquired by
    Facebook. Onavo will become the anchor
    for Facebook in Israel — its first office in the country. Terms of the deal
    have not been disclosed; we are trying to find out. Right now we’re seeing
    reports of between $100 million and $200 million.

    (Israeli
    paper Calcalist is reporting $150-200
    million; other sources tell us the range is more like $100-$200
    million.)

    The rationale for the deal is easy to see on a
    few levels.

    Facebook has been focusing on building up its
    mobile business, which is seeing the most growth and is the platform that
    most users in developing markets are turning to first when signing up for and
    using the social networking service, so this means beefing up Facebook’s
    mobile operations in general. Indeed, the company’s co-founders, Guy Rosen
    (CEO) and Roi Tiger (CTO) even cite Facebook’s recent
    Internet.org initiative
    in the company’s short blog post announcing
    the deal (below). “Today, we’re eager to take the next step and make an even
    bigger impact by supporting Facebook’s mission to connect the world,” the
    pair write.

    More practically, though, Onavo will give the
    company a much deeper technology bench to measure how those mobile services
    are working — who is using them, and how to make them work in the most
    optimised way on mobile devices. This can be applied in a number of areas
    both for basic user experience and commercial ends. (One commercial end:
    performance of mobile ads.)

    It will also be a very strong
    play to attract more mobile developers to Facebook overall, much like
    Facebook’s acquisition
    of Parse
    last year. Just as Parse gave Facebook its first paid B2B
    service for developers, it will be interesting to see whether Facebook expand
    that B2B offering with its new Onavo assets. (For the record, an Onavo
    spokesperson has just declined to comment on these kinds of
    details.)

    Onavo, which was founded in 2010, has two parts to
    its business: a consumer-facing app to help optimise device and app
    performance and battery life on iOS and Android devices; and an analytics
    business for mobile publishers to chart how well its own apps are performing,
    and to chart that against apps of its competitors. It had raised some $13 million in venture funding from
    investors like Sequoia, Horizons Ventures, Motorola and Magma Venture
    Partners.

    Sidenote: Facebook
    was reportedly
    interested in buying Waze, the social/mobile mapping company that eventually
    got sold
    to Google
    . One of the sticking points of that deal (reportedly) was
    that Facebook wanted all of Waze in Menlo Park’s HQ. Today’s deal shows that
    Facebook clearly isn’t adverse to having a presence in the country after
    all.

    Also, Onavo is not the first Israeli company that
    Facebook has acquired. There have been two others: one also to further its
    mobile operations, with feature phone interface developer Snaptu (bought for up to $70
    million in March 2011); and one to expand its photo sharing and storage
    platform, acquiring facial recognition specialist Face.com in
    June 2012 for $50-60 million.

    More to come. Blog
    post below.

    We are excited to
    announce that Facebook has agreed to acquire our
    company.

    Three years ago, we started Onavo with the goal of
    helping today’s technology consumers and companies work more efficiently in a
    mobile world. We developed the award-winning Onavo mobile utility apps, and
    later launched Onavo Insights, the first mobile market intelligence service
    based on real engagement data. Our service helps people save money through
    more efficient use of data, and also helps developers, large and small,
    design better experiences for people.

    We’ve built
    world-class products and a remarkably talented team which has pioneered
    important breakthroughs in data compression technology and mobile analytics.
    Today, we’re eager to take the next step and make an even bigger impact by
    supporting Facebook’s mission to connect the world.

    As you
    know, Facebook and other mobile technology leaders recently launched
    Internet.org, formalizing Facebook’s commitment to improving access to the
    internet for the next 5 billion people — this is a challenge we’re also
    passionate about.

    We’re excited to join their team, 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. When the transaction closes, we plan to
    continue running the Onavo mobile utility apps as a standalone brand. As
    always, we remain committed to the privacy of people who use our application
    and that commitment will not change.

    We are incredibly
    proud of the talented team we have assembled, and, recognizing this, Onavo’s
    Tel-Aviv office will remain open for business and will become Facebook’s new
    Israeli office.

    We’ll continue to advance the work we are
    doing in collaboration with Facebook’s great team. Thank you to everyone who
    has joined us on this journey. We’d like to extend a special thanks to our
    investors, who believed in us and in our vision from the early days. We’re
    excited for what’s next.

    Via:
    Technology

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