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Facebook has a Little Eye. Acquires Bangalore-based startup

Thursday, 9 January 2014 - 1:59pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

City-based startup Little Eye Labs has found a big buyer in Facebook. The company is into building performance analysis and monitoring tools for mobile app developers. This is the first Indian acquisition for Facebook.

Earlier, Little Eye Labs had pitched itself for a buyout to Twitter, but was offered a better deal by Facebook. Industry insiders say Facebook paid the company about $10-15 million for the deal.

When contacted, Kumar Rangarajan of Little Eye Labs declined to comment on the development.
However, in a blog, Rangarajan wrote: “Today, we’re very excited to announce that Facebook is acquiring our company. With this acquisition, Little Eye Labs will join forces with Facebook to take its mobile development to the next level! This is Facebook’s first acquisition of an Indian company, and we are happy to become part of such an incredible team.”

While a Facebook spokesperson termed the deal exciting. “I’m excited to announce that we’re acquiring Little Eye Labs, a company that produces world-class technology to help developers build more efficient products with Android. This is an opportunity to welcome some of the industry’s most talented engineers to our team in Menlo Park, California,” said a spokesperson from Facebook.

Founded in May 2012 by four Bangalore-based techies, Kumar Rangarajan, Satyam Kandula, Lakshman Kakkirala, Giridhar Murthy, who worked with Apple, IBM, HP and Yahoo; Little Eye Labs builds tools for mobile apps developers.

Experts say the move could be a small step to look at the Indian market. “While from Facebook’s perspective, it could be a small step to look at India market for acquisition, it’s a giant step from an Indian start-up ecosystem’s perspective. We expect to see more and more SV companies eyeing the Indian start-ups going forward,” said Praveen Bhadada, director, market expansion, Zinnov.

He added,“This acquisition fits in very well to the overall mobile strategy of Facebook and will give access to a good talent pool from India along with a technology that could help track and improve the performance of Facebook Apps. This is certainly one of the few firms from Silicon Valley to acquire an Indian startup.”

The number of technology start-ups forming every year in India has quadrupled since 2006 and a number of VCs, angels, incubators and accelerators are now active in India. This acquisition will certainly provide necessary boost to the already growing ecosystem, say experts.

In 2013, there were 100 merger and acquisition deals across the India’s information technology industry. Of this, 31 whose value was announced were worth $1,906 million (Rs 11,807 crore), according to research firm Venture Intelligence.

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