Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion.
The $19 billion includes $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares.
The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.
WhatsApp has built a leading and rapidly growing real-time mobile messaging service, with:
- Over 450 million people using the service each month;
- 70% of those people active on a given day;
- Messaging volume approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume; and
- Continued strong growth, currently adding more than 1 million new registered users per day.
The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp’s shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably.
The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO:
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”
Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO:
“WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”
Facebook fosters an environment where independent-minded entrepreneurs can build companies, set their own direction and focus on growth while also benefiting from Facebook’s expertise, resources and scale.
This approach is working well with Instagram, and WhatsApp will operate in this manner.
WhatsApp’s brand will be maintained; its headquarters will remain in Mountain View, CA; Jan Koum will join Facebook’s Board of Directors; and WhatsApp’s core messaging product and Facebook’s existing Messenger app will continue to operate as standalone applications.
I believe Facebook has made a smart move with this acquisition.
As we stated before this week: Mobile is the next big gateway to: Content, friends, brands, communities and commerce.
It seems like the right time for Facebook to embrace mobile.
Mobile messaging apps have been hot lately, and larger tech companies are finally getting around to snatching them up.
Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten bought Viber last week for $900 million.
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Does this news surprise you? Looking forward to your comments!
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About the Author
Laurens Bianchi is an independent online (sport) marketing professional from the Netherlands and has been blogging on ViralBlog since 2008. Currently Laurens is also the Social Media Consultant for the Royal Dutch Football Association. Follow him on Twitter or contact him on LinkedIn.
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