Facebook buys Israeli mobile analytics firm Onavo

Tel Aviv-based company announces lucrative sale, which is estimated at somewhere between $150 million and $200 million • Onavo offices to be used as first Facebook headquarters in Israel, company’s 30 employees to join social media giant’s staff.

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Onavo, a Tel Aviv-based mobile analytics company, announced Monday that it has been acquired by Facebook. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the deal is estimated to be worth between $150 million and $200 million.

According to reports in Israeli financial media, the company’s 30 employees will join Facebook, which plans to use Onavo’s offices in Tel Aviv as its first headquarters in Israel.

Technology website TechCrunch defined Onavo, which was founded in 2010, as developing “consumer-facing apps to help optimize device and app performance and battery life on iOS and Android devices,” as well as “an analytics business for mobile publishers to chart how well its own apps are performing, and to chart that against apps of its competitors.”

Onavo has so far raised $13 million in venture funding from investors including Horizons Ventures, Sequoia, Motorola and Magma Venture Partners.

Facebook confirmed the deal was inked in a statement quoted by technology website AllThingsD: “Onavo will be an exciting addition to Facebook. We expect Onavo’s data compression technology to play a central role in our mission to connect more people to the internet, and their analytic tools will help us provide better, more efficient mobile products,” the statement said.

“We are excited to announce that Facebook has agreed to acquire our company,” Onavo co-founders Guy Rosen and Roi Tiger said in a statement posted on the company’s blog.

“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.

“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 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,” the statement said.

This is Facebook’s third acquisition of an Israeli company: the social media giant bought Israeli startup Snaptu in 2011 for $70 million, and in 2012 it acquired Face.com, an Israeli company that develops facial-recognition technology for $100 million.

Facebook’s latest acquisitions are in line with the company’s desire to enhance its hold on mobile interface technology.

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