Facebook has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.
WhatsApp has built a leading and rapidly growing real-time mobile messaging service, with:
The acquisition supports the two companies’ shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably. The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies.
Over 450 million people using the service each month
70% of those people active on a given day
Messaging volume approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume
Continued strong growth, currently adding more than 1 million new registered users per day
"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "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."
Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, “WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”
Facebook fosters an environment where independent-minded entrepreneurs can build companies, set their own direction and focus on growth while also benefiting from Facebook’s expertise, resources and scale. This approach is working well with Instagram, and WhatsApp will operate in this manner.
WhatsApp’s brand will be maintained; its headquarters will remain in Mountain View, CA; Jan Koum will join Facebook’s Board of Directors; and WhatsApp’s core messaging product and Facebook’s existing Messenger app will continue to operate as standalone applications.
John Sims, President of SAP’s Mobile Services business joined BlackBerry in December 2013. In a similar exchange, SAP AG has appointed Rick Costanzo as executive vice president and general manager of Global Mobility Solutions. Most recently, Costanzo was executive vice president of Global Sales at BlackBerry, where he led the sales organization to new levels of execution with enterprise customers and mobile services providers.
In this new role, Costanzo will lead a team of professionals in field sales, enablement and solutions management across the comprehensive SAP mobile product portfolio to drive customer success. He will report to Steve Lucas, president of the Platform Solutions Group.
"Rick's extensive experience in the enterprise mobility market, combined with SAP's enterprise mobile solutions portfolio, will help our customers embrace a 'mobile first' mindset to accelerate their business," said Lucas. "We are confident that under Rick's leadership, SAP will continue to lead and drive continued innovation in the enterprise mobile market."
AT&T and IBM have aligned to develop solutions that help support the “Internet of Things.” The companies will combine their analytic platforms, cloud and security technologies with privacy in mind to gain more insights on data collected from machines in a variety of industries.
The alliance will initially focus on creating new solutions targeted for city governments and midsize utilities. These organizations intend to integrate and analyze vast quantities of data from assets such as mass transit vehicles, utility meters and video cameras. As a result, cities may be able to better evaluate patterns and trends to improve urban planning and utilities can better manage their equipment to reduce costs.
The colloaboration will help deliver a more connected planet according to Chris Hill, Senior Vice President, AT&T Advanced Solutions. “We share a vision that the ‘Internet of Things’ will help companies in a variety of industries rely on their remote assets and connected devices to take their business to the next level.”
Key capabilities for city planners in connected cities include:
•Better allocate and distribute resources based on information reported from incidents and service disruptions.
•Analyze the movement of people to improve traffic management, parking capacity, location and number of first unit responders. City officials can better prepare and react to potential bottlenecks and other issues in case of an emergency.
•Identify inefficient traffic patterns so that traffic can be re-routed; better allocate public safety resources in places where majority of people congregate.
•Monitor social media updates from citizens reporting bad weather or major traffic so the city can take best course of action.
“Smarter cities, cars, homes, machines and consumer devices will drive the growth of the Internet of Things along with the infrastructure that goes with them, unleashing a wave of new possibilities for data gathering, predictive analytics, and automation,” said Rick Qualman, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Telecom Industry, IBM.
According to industry analyst firm IDC, the installed base for the Internet of Things will grow to approximately 212 billion devices by 2020, a number that includes 30 billion connected devices. IDC sees this growth driven largely by intelligent systems that will be installed and collecting data — across both consumer and enterprise applications.
ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. , a provider of automated mobile workforce management and optimization solutions for the service industry, will acquire Xora Inc.
Xora provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for companies whose success depends on the productivity and efficiency of always mobile workers. The company delivers its solutions to more than 130,000.
The merger creates a company with breadth and depth for a much bigger market under one roof. ClickSoftware strengthens its leadership position by offering customers a broader range of cloud-based mobile workforce management apps. Xora benefits from ClickSoftware's international presence and access to service resource optimization products. This acquisition will also extend ClickSoftware's market reach into the SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) market and opens a distribution channel through leading wireless carriers.
Dr. Moshe BenBassat, ClickSoftware's Founder and CEO, said, "The visions and cultures of both companies are perfectly aligned, bringing together the management of mobile workers, tasks, and physical assets such as equipment and vehicles."
Research from Frost & Sullivan indicates that the market for mobile workforce management solutions will continue to grow, and estimates that annual North American CAGR of 40.5% to reach almost $3 billion by 2018. The research also indicates that market penetration remains low, with 45% of businesses planning to introduce or expand mobile application deployment over the next three years.
Jeanine Sterling, Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, commented, "There are a multitude of benefits that make this development between two market leaders a mutual win, mostly based on synergies in product capabilities, target markets and channel relationships. Our mobile enterprise applications research shows a steady migration of customers toward cloud-based solutions."