Facebook enters Indian software market with Little Eye Labs acquisition

In a historic deal, Facebook has bought an Android app developing startup Little Eye Labs, based in Bangalore. The notable fact of the deal is that it is the social media giant’s first Indian acquisition. Little Eye is being acquired for approx. Rs 90 crore, or $15 million.

Established in May 2013 by a team of technology veterans, the founders are:

1. Giridhar Murthy – Ex -Apple

2. Kumar Rangarajan, with IBM and HP credentials.

3. Satyam Kandula, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus

4. Lakshman Kakkirala – Ex IBM.

The firm had created Little Eye, an Android app specifically designed for developers to improve their app’s performance on Google’s Android mobile OS phones. The main functions include measurement, analytics and optimization. The deal will see the Little Eye Labs management, less than 10 employees, shift to Facebook’s California Office.

Speaking on the occasion, Rangarajan, CEO of Little Eye, said, “This has been a fun and exciting journey. We’re eager to be working alongside the incredible team at Facebook and together, we’ll continue on our mission of building awesome analysis tools to aid in the development of brilliant apps”.

His comments were backed by Subbu Subramanian, Facebook’s Engineering Manager. He said, “I’m excited to announce that we’re acquiring Little Eye Labs. This is an opportunity to welcome some of the industry’s most- talented engineers to our team in Menlo Park, California. At Facebook, we remain focused on producing useful and engaging mobile apps. The Little Eye Labs technology will help us to continue improving our Android codebases to make more efficient, higher-performing apps.”

The Bangalore-based firm was funded by GSF Superangels and Venture East Fund, which are likely to get windfall gains. Rajesh Sawhney, founder of GSF Accelerator (part of Superangels) stated, “Acquisition of Little Eye Labs by Facebook is a transformative deal for not only the Indian startup ecosystem but also for the whole of the emerging world. This validates GSF’s core tenet that Indian product startups are now ready for a global play.”

With an increasing number of people accessing social media sites through hi-tech mobile phones, it is expected that Facebook, Twitter and Google would look forward to more such acquisitions to further their mobile presence. In the quarter that went by, half of Facebook’s total ad revenue was contributed by mobile ads. Let us wait and watch the impact that this deal would have on Facebook’s 1 billion plus users.

Source: The Times of India & THE FINANCIAL TIMES


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