In what is seen as the biggest deal ever for a venture-capital-backed startup, social media network Facebook has announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase messaging application WhatsApp for $16-billion – which includes $4-billion in cash and approximately $12-billion worth of Facebook shares.
“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,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO in a statement.
Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said that he is excited to be joining Facebook. “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.”
While Facebook enjoys over 1-billion users, WhatsApp currently has 450 million people using the service each month, and is 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,” Facebook wrote on their blog.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor