Facebook, now Meta Platforms, has completed approximately 90 acquisitions at the time of writing.
Many of these acquisitions were deemed “talent acquisitions” where a company takes over another primarily to recruit its employees and not to control its products and services. In some circles, this is a strategy known by the portmanteau term “acqui-hiring”.
It would be remiss of us not to include Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in this list.
Like Google’s acquisition of YouTube six years earlier, the purchase of Instagram was initially seen as exorbitant – a claim no doubt stemming from the fact that Instagram employed just 13 people before it was taken over.
Ultimately, however, the purchase has paid handsome dividends for Facebook.
Facebook’s largest ever purchase was seen as a way for the company to secure a formidable mobile player with Instagram already enjoying some 30 million users on iPhone.
Facebook purchased customer services startup Kustomer in December 2020 for around $1 billion.
Founded by Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, Kustomer possessed CRM capabilities that would enable Facebook to bolster similar services for businesses on its platform.
In fact, around 175 million businesses on the social media network use a Facebook page as their primary online identity instead of a website or mobile app of their own.
We have to travel back to 2014 for Facebook’s purchase of video ad tech startup LiveRail. The deal to acquire the platform, which connects marketers to publishers on mobile and web, was estimated to be worth $400-500 million.
LiveRail’s platform featured a substantial customer base including ABC Family, Gannett, Dailymotion, and Major League Baseball.
CTRL-labs is a neural interface startup that was acquired by Facebook in September 2019.
Facebook did not disclose the terms of the deal, but it was estimated to be worth anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion.
This made it the most substantial purchase since the acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014.
Headed by CEO and former Internet Explorer creator Thomas Reardon, the company’s core product was a wristband that could transform neuromuscular signals into commands a machine could interpret.
At around $60 million, the purchase of Face.com was one of Facebook’s least expensive. However, it was considered one of its more important.
Face.com was an Israeli company and developer of facial recognition technology that the social media giant could use to enable users to tag others in mobile photos.
Without this capability, Facebook was losing countless opportunities to increase engagement via tagging and user suggestions.
- Facebook, now Meta Platforms, has completed approximately 90 acquisitions at the time of writing. Some of these were instituted to acquire the target company’s skilled talent with control over products and services less of an immediate concern.
- Facebook’s purchase of Instagram is one of its most successful, despite initial criticism that the $1 billion asking price was too much for a company with 13 employees.
- Other perhaps lesser-known acquisitions include CRM developer Kustomer, video ad tech startup LiveRail, and facial recognition tech company Face.com.