The company, founded three years ago, said that once the transaction closes, Onavo’s mobile utility application – which helps people cut mobile phone costs through more efficient use of data – will run as a standalone brand.
This is Facebook’s largest acquisition in Israel yet, and perhaps more significant, will be the social media giant’s first research and development site in Israel—the deal will allow Onavo, which already has offices in Palo Alto, to keep its flagship Israeli offices in operation.
The last major Israeli start-up export was Waze, the GPS-enabled driving app bought by Google over the summer for $1.3 billion amid reports that Facebook was also trying to buy the app. But it’s not always smooth sailing for new Israeli ventures—back in June, Daniella Cheslow reported on the failed electric-car company ‘Better Place,’ whose promising battery-swapping venture raised $850 million from investors in the United States, Europe, and Israel only to quickly stall out.
Welcome to the Holy Land, Zuck.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.