Facebook buys mobile analytics startup Onavo

Facebook has acquired Onavo, a three-year-old mobile analytics startup based in Tel-Aviv that runs analytics for mobile publishers to track the performance of their apps in the market.

But it is its consumer-facing business, building app products to help mobile users monitor data use, app performance and battery life, that Facebook will most likely be focusing on.

The company announced in a blog post yesterday that it would be joining Facebook to help bolster its Internet.org programme, which aims to bring affordable internet coverage to the estimated five billion people in the developing world without access to the internet.

Onavo founders Guy Rosen and Roi Tiger said they hope their products and technology play a ‘critical role’ in helping mobile manufacturers and users in developing countries design more cost-effective mobile phones and use data more efficiently.

See also: Facebook launches bid to bring cheap internet to the developing world

‘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,’ a Facebook spokesperson told Information Age.

Facebook announced the launch of Internet.org in August, in which it will partner with major hardware manufacturers and telecommunications infrastructure providers to develop affordable technologies and invest in tools to improve data compression and network efficiency.

‘The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be pro?table for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever,’ wrote Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in his Internet.org treatise. ‘But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.’

Facebook likely also acquired Onavo for its ‘Insights’ mobile analytics product, as part of its recent push to attract more mobile advertisers and help mobile developers integrate Faceook– last year it bought Parse, a cloud-based platform that provides mobile back-end tools for developers, for $85 million.

However Onavo has declined to mention how it will use the commercial analytics side of its business together with Facebook.

Onavo said it will continue to run its products as a standalone brand, and that its Tel-Aviv headquarters will become Facebook’s office in Israel.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...