Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has agreed to buy Israeli mobile analytics startup Onavo, a move that will provide the social media giant with access to the Ramat Gan-based company's data compression software, something that could help Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his quest to provide Internet access to 5 billion new users worldwide.
Facebook will pay between $150 million and $200 million for Onavo, which was founded in 2010 and has about 40 employees.
Onavo’s data compression helps smartphones cut data consumption as much as 80 percent, the New York Times reports.
“Onavo is an exciting addition to Facebook," a representative from Facebook notes. "Utilizing their information technology will play a key role in our mission to connect more people to the Internet and their analysis will help us to provide better mobile products.”
Onavo has raised $13 in venture capital, according to Calcalist. Its mobile utility application, which helps people reduce mobile phone costs through efficient use of data, will still operate as a standalone brand, Reuters reports.
“Our services help people to save money through the effective use of data and also helps developers, big or small, to plan the user experience better,” Onavo founders Guy Rosen and Roi Tiger state on the company's website. "We are excited to join their team.”
Onavo dabbles in areas such as mobile app analytics and measurement for marketers as well as in mobile security, AllThingsD reports. But the company primarily focuses on data management and compression. Onavo's apps include “Count,” which monitors the data one uses on a smartphone, as well as “Extend,” which shrinks the amount of information one downloads to a phone to maximize a data plan.
Such services are in line with the goals of Internet.org, an organization spearheaded by Zuckerberg in conjunction with a host of major global technology companies, according to AllThingsD. Internet.org aims to deliver connectivity to billions of people worldwide who don't have Internet access. Some of the effort’s largest partners are Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung.
Onavo's investors are Sequoia Capital, Magma Venture Partners, Horizons Ventures and Motorola Mobility Ventures.
Facebook had already purchased two other Israeli tech companies: Snaptu and Face.com. When doing so, it transferred the employees to its own offices in California, where Onavo already has offices, Reuters notes.