Facebook Inc has entered into an agreement to buy Onavo, an Israeli startup that mainly facilitates mobile data compression. The social networking firm intends to use the acquisition’s technology in its drive to help make access to the Internet more affordable.
In a statement, the company said it would use the data compression capability as a centerpiece for its mission. Meanwhile, Onavo’s analytic tool would facilitate better and more efficient mobile offerings. As usual, Facebook refused to provide more details of the transaction. After the deal is completed, Onavo would continue to operate its apps for mobile utility as an independent brand.
At the same time, the acquisition facilitates other uses for Facebook. The company would now use Onavo’s headquarters in Tel-Aviv as its new Israel office. There could be other uses for the physical office and other resources.
Onavo would not be Facebook’s first Israeli acquisition. The social media company acquired Snaptu in March 2011. The deal was valued at about $60 to $70 million. Snaptu is another mobile app making startup.
Data compression technology
Onavo is best known for its mobile apps that could compress data upon download. This helps users save more on data plans. This technology enables users to expand their data plan by up to five times more even without additional costs.
Onavo even has a unique analytics tool that enables users to track the amount of data consumed by every app installed on their devices. However, this capability may not be unique to it anymore because modern operating systems now facilitate that feature.
Help expand the Internet
Facebook launched the Internet.org initiative in August. Together with partner technology firms like Samsung Electronics, Nokia Corp, Qualcomm, and Ericsson, it aims to help connect another 5 billion people across the globe to the online media. There is also a goal to make the Internet more affordable.
Internet.org thinks that it is more possible to establish a modern infrastructure that would facilitate sustainable basic Internet access for free. It aims to make access to the Internet as basic as using a handset for various purposes.
This initiative is also one of the passions of Onavo, making this deal an ideal one for both parties. In a statement, Onavo expressed its happiness to join the team as it hopes to help Internet.org achieve its own goals. It wants to help make connecting and sharing the technology easier around the world.