from the January 2014 issue

Facebook buys Israeli company for $200 million

The scenario has become very familiar on the Israeli High tech scene. A huge company buys an Israeli startup and the employees are not allowed to say anything. This was the case 6 months ago with Waze and now with Onavo. Onavo, formed three years ago employs 40 workers today. In a relatively short time, the company succeeded in fulfilling the Israeli dream of the exit. It is estimated that Facebook paid anywhere from 50-200 million dollars which makes it the most expensive Israeli acquisition by Facebook.

It is readily evident from the photos on Onavo's site that the workers are extremely happy with this deal. Onavo has two products used by Facebook. The first is a method of saving on surfing the net on smartphones. The second collects data about the frequency in using apps on the phone. This is a goldmine for Facebook. Mark Zuckerburg recently expressed his desire to bring internet to the developing world. Onavo's product will help him reach his vision. In addition, Onavo will reveal a great deal about user's habits on Facebook. The company joins two other Israeli startups that were acquired by Facebook in the last year, Snaptu for $70 million and facecom for $100 million. Only this time, Facebook does not plan to close the company and transfer the workers abroad, but rather intends to use the company as a base in Israel for R&D. This may be a chance for more Israeli workers to join the largest company in social media.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report January 2014

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