Facebook Acquires WhatsApp for $19 Billion
February 19, 2014 Leave a comment
Facebook acquired startup and rapidly growing mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion. It’s Facebook’s largest acquisition to date. In the deal, Facebook said it will pay WhatsApp $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in stock. Founders and employees of WhatsApp will be eligible for another $3 billion in stock grants that would be paid out if they remain employed by Facebook for four years.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement announcing the deal. “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.”
With over 450 million people using the service each month, up to 70 percent of users actively use the platform on a given day. Growth continues as the messaging service adds more than one million new registered users per day.
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum will also join Facebook’s board of directors.
“WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide,” Koum said. “We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”
WhatsApp will continue to operate as a stand-alone company. Facebook said Wednesday that Facebook Messenger will continue to operate separately as well.
Koum wrote a blog entry assuring users that service would remain the same.
“You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.”