Facebook's Onavo Purchase Fueled by Analytics Growth

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Facebook ( FB) purchased Onavo, an Israeli-based analytics company, to help fuel the company's push into getting more out of its terabyte and petabytes of data.

"Onavo will be an exciting addition to Facebook," said Facebook regarding the purchase. "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."

Onavo confirmed the acquisitions in blog post.

The purchase price was not disclosed, though reports have indicated that Facebook spent approximately $200 million on the acquisition. Shares of Facebook were lower in premarket trading, off 1.1% to $48.58.

Onavo has developed mobile utility apps and an intelligence service based on engagement data. The acquisition goes back to what Javier Olivan, head of Facebook's growth team, said in an interview with TheStreet earlier this year about the need for Facebook to become more data-driven.

"If you think of Facebook four or five years ago, and you asked whether Facebook was a data-driven company, most likely, people would've said no," Olivan said during the interview. "We created great products and people used them, but over the last couple of years, we've kind of evolved into being very data driven, and that's what Mark Zuckerberg has asked us to do as a mandate."

Onavo will work with Facebook as it seeks to connect the next 5 billion people on Earth to the Internet, through an initiative known as Internet.org. As of the end of the second- uarter, Facebook had 1.15 billion users, with more than 800 million of them accessing the social network via a mobile device.

Onavo will keep its Israeli offices (it also has a small office in Palo Alto, Calif.), and that will become Facebook's Israeli-based office.

Here's the letter from Onavo talking about the acquisition:

We are excited to announce that Facebook has agreed to acquire our company. 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.

We've built world-class products and a remarkably talented team which has pioneered important breakthroughs in data compression technology and mobile analytics. Today, we're eager to take the next step and make an even bigger impact by supporting Facebook's mission to connect the world.

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 hope to play a critical role in reaching one of Internet.org's most significant goals - using data more efficiently, so that more people around the world can connect and share. When the transaction closes, we plan to continue running the Onavo mobile utility apps as a standalone brand. As always, we remain committed to the privacy of people who use our application and that commitment will not change.

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.

We'll continue to advance the work we are doing in collaboration with Facebook's great team. Thank you to everyone who has joined us on this journey. We'd like to extend a special thanks to our investors, who believed in us and in our vision from the early days. We're excited for what's next.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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