The Facebook-Instagram deal went down in 48 hours

April 13, 2012

The billion-dollar deal that shock the web took, from start to finish, just 48 hours, according to inside sources.

Monday, Facebook announced that it was acquiring photo-sharing phenom Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. The deal, reports the New York Times, was championed by none other than power-player CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and pieced together in record time.

“Less than 24 hours after the ink dried on Instagram’s latest financing round — an investment that valued it at roughly $500 million — Mr. Zuckerberg placed a call to Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive,” the Times reports.

The story goes that Zuckerberg, Systrom, and their respective companies spent this past weekend ironing out the details before going live with the news Monday morning.

Facebook for its part won’t confirm the insiders’ accounts, but the details match up with an earlier report from Fortune. Sources told the publication that the Facebook-Instagram deal was started only after the beloved photo-sharing startup secured a (still rumored) $50 million round from Seqouia, Thrive, Greylock, and Benchmark.

“I think Facebook panicked,” a person told Fortune. “So it decided to take out the competition before it had a chance to grow even bigger.”

VentureBeat’s friends in the financial community agree. “Facebook’s short-term threat, which could eat into their IPO valuation, was Instagram,” Moor Insights and Strategy president and principal analyst Patrick Moorhead told us when the news broke. “They removed that problem.”

For more background on why Facebook was so desperate to snatch up Instagram at such a high price, just have a look at its S-1.

Copyright 2012, VentureBeat

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