Tech giants are currently on a buying spree in a bid to improve their users’ experience and to outdo their competitors. The latest acquisition has been made by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which bought conversation platform Branch Media. The CEO of Branch Media, Josh Miller made the announcement today via Facebook. He did not divulge any further details, which is understandable since he was on vacation in Japan, but industry analysts quote fifteen million as the buying price.
However, Josh Miller did promise to disclose more details in due time. He was quick to add that revelations of a possible news leak prompted him to make the announcement so that the public gets wind of the deal through him. Sources close to Branch Media indicate that the package offered by Facebook in terms of buying price and the absorption of all the staff at Branch Media into Facebook was too good for the company not to accept.
This deal makes Facebook the third most active tech giant when it comes to acquiring young start-ups. In 2013, Facebook acquired more than seventeen start-ups in total. Other tech giants gobbling up start-ups include Google and Yahoo. Most of these companies are acquiring the start-ups for the potential these companies have in terms of ideas and advancements in existing technologies.
Tip: Check the Facebook’s Acquisition page to read more about the startup’s Facebook buys.
The History of Branch Media
The founders of the company include Josh Miller, Cemre Güngör and Hursh Agrawal. They founded the company in March 2012 with an initial financing of two million dollars. The main financiers included prominent business personalities such as SV Angel, John Borthwick, Jason Goldman and Lerer Ventures. Other financiers include Biz Stone and Evan Williams who are both founders of Twitter. Other notable investors during its two-year lifespan as an independent company include Jonah Peretti and Ryan Freitas.
Branch Media launched a conversation platform a year ago. This platform hosts and publishes conversations that are accessible to users through an invite-only model. The platform was gaining ground even though many analysts had questioned its growth potential. Branch was the name of the platform. It actually encourages users to ditch email as a means of having conversations and instead use the Branch.
Branch Media also launched Potluck for iPhone users. This app allows users to share abstract news clips with each other. As you can tell, the products Branch Media has are mostly news oriented. This means that Facebook is trying to establish a niche in the news market by turning its current news feed into a formidable news-sharing platform.
Tip: Yesterday TechShares published an article which popped the question “Is Facebook A Good Stock To Invest In?“. The article is an interesting read for investors.
The New Work Assignment at Facebook
Facebook absorbed all nine team members that worked at Branch Media. This team of nine individuals who are highly experienced and qualified will be responsible for developing a conversations group on Facebook. The team will not move to Facebook headquarters i.e. Menlo Park. Instead, they will remain in New York City and carry out their work from there.
The main objective of this new conversations group is to help users connect with each other in terms of mutual interests. This means that sharing news and other topical items on Facebook will be easier, quicker and more effective. This strategy falls in line with Facebook’s desire to turn its current news feed feature into a feature that promotes actual news as opposed to promoting gossip and user content.