NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Facebook (FB) has been quite the acquirer over the last year. In 2013, Facebook made nine deals, and it has already made three in the first nine weeks of 2014. Reports from Techcrunch now say Facebook spent $60 million to acquire Titan Aerospace. The deal will allow Facebook an entry into the drone market and a chance to significantly increase Internet penetration around the world.
Facebook stock opened higher and was at $70.64 at 10:58 a.m. -- up 156% over the past year.
Titan Aerospace is a privately owned company that makes near-orbital solar powered drones. The devices fly high in the sky for five years before they need to land to recharge. The company's models include the Solara 50 and Solara 60, which are ideal for regional Internet systems.
So how will that work? First, let's backtrack. Facebook is one of the leaders of Internet.org, which seeks to bring affordable internet to emerging markets. The company's motto is "Every one of us, Everywhere, Connected." It's hard to believe, but two-thirds of the world's population has little or no access to the Internet. Facebook may be buying Titan Aerospace to help fix this problem. Facebook would likely begin producing satellites to send to areas of the world without Internet, like parts of Africa. This would allow for better connectivity to more people.
The $60 million price tag seems measly compared to the $19 billion Facebook just spent on WhatsApp. Furthermore, the deal might not serve Facebook itself too much -- reports indicate that Titan Aerospace will make products exclusively for Internet.org.