Facebook has acquired the Israeli mobile app maker Snaptu in a deal said to be valued somewhere between $60 and $70 million.
Snaptu is a free mobile application platform that runs on almost every type of Internet-enabled mobile phones. In other words, Snaptu aims its products at mobile users who still don’t have smartphones, tablets or other advanced mobile devices. And according to a CNN report, that embraces the majority of mobile users.
One of the company’s latest projects has been working with Facebook and other partners to launch slimmed-down mobile applications of their respective sites. According to Snaptu, its lower-end Facebook app works across 2,500 different mobile devices worldwide.
“Our goal when we founded Snaptu in 2007 was to provide useful and innovative services to the 95 percent of mobile users that don’t have access to advanced smart phones,” writes Snaptu on the company’s blog.
Facebook officials say the deal with Snaptu is expected to close within a few weeks. Writes Snaptu: “We’ll have more updates on Snaptu soon, and we’ll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone. During this transition period, we expect Snaptu will continue to operate as it does today.”
Snaptu’s investors include Sequoia Capital and Carmel Ventures. The company has offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Tel Aviv.