Facebook acquires Israeli start-up Onavo to bolster data compression and mobile tech


Facebook’s Onavo pickup is aimed at helping its mobile products and its goal of connecting the globe. Above, this February 25, 2013 file photo taken in Washington, DC, shows the splash page for the Internet social media giant Facebook. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
October 14, 2013

Facebook announced Monday morning that it has acquired the Israeli start-up Onavo for an undisclosed sum, giving the tech titan a leg up in its quest to more efficiently process data.

In an blog post announcing the agreement, Onavo did not disclose the value of the deal but said that it is excited to join Facebook to help the firm work to cut costs through better data processing. That’s important to both Facebook’s mobile ambitions and its Internet.org project, which aims to provide Internet connections to an estimated 5 billion people worldwide who don’t currently have access to the Web.

“We’ve built world-class products and a remarkably talented team, which has pioneered important breakthroughs in data compression technology and mobile analytics,” Onavo co-founders Guy Rosen and Roi Tiger wrote in the blog post. “Today, we’re eager to take the next step and make an even bigger impact by supporting Facebook's mission to connect the world.”

Facebook said in a statement that the start-up would be an “exciting addition” to the company and that Onavo’s technology will “play a central role in our mission to connect more people to the Internet.” Facebook said that Onavo’s analytic tools will also help it provide “better, more efficient mobile products.”

As part of the deal, Facebook is keeping Onavo’s Tel Aviv office, which will become the company’s outpost. U.S. firms are seeing the burgeoning Israeli start-up scene as a strong market for acquisitions. Facebook has picked up two other Israeli start-ups: facial recognition company Face.com and feature-phone developer Snaptu. The Waze traffic app, which Google purchased in June for $1 billion, was also based in Israel.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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