Facebook is on an acquiring spree.
After acquiring WhatsApp recently, Facebook has gone shopping again. This time, Mark Zuckerburg has set his eyes on ProtoGeo, a mobile app maker that has made several fitness and health monitoring apps. This groundbreaking app helps track the distance users run or walk, and calculates approximate calories burned based on their speed, distance and the time they have taken to complete their workout.
What Could This Mean?
The technology for fitness and health monitoring is still in a very nascent stage. Though there are a lot of apps, but none that can effectively measure the results of a person’s workout. Since Facebook has acquired the app maker, there is speculation in the markets that Facebook could be looking to enter into the health and fitness monitoring market. How Facebook aims to do that is not clear, but it would be once the management decides to make a statement or declare what they intend to do with the app maker. It is known, however, that fitness tracking has been attracting a lot of attention, especially because the current generation is very fitness conscious and generously uses technology to help meet and track fitness goals. Several companies have already started selling electronic bracelets and wristbands to monitor health, heartbeat and other vital signs during a workout.
How Much Was the Deal For?
Facebook has not yet disclosed the amount of money they have paid to acquire ProtoGeo. The Helsinki company is only 2 years old and it has also not disclosed the price they have received from Facebook. Therefore, the price of this transaction has been completely hushed. The company is very small, and does not even have 10 employees and it seems that Facebook may not have paid them as much as they have paid for some of the other, higher profile acquisitions that have made in the recent past, including WhatsApp.
The Facebook Shopping Spree
Facebook has had a great year already. They began their year with a bang, making a whooping $19 billion purchase of the free messaging app, WhatsApp. After they had purchased WhatsApp, they went shopping again and paid $2.3 billion for Oculus VR, the makers of a virtual reality headset, only a few weeks later. All of these are companies that have been making groundbreaking research and products of mass appeal. With WhatsApp, Facebook has forayed into the free messaging technology world and with Oculus. They may be planning to enter the virtual reality gaming world. With this latest acquisition, Facebook may be planning to enter the health and fitness niche.
Competition to Facebook
The health and fitness-monitoring niche is very lucrative, and therefore, a lot of technology giants are eyeing it. Facebook has tough competition from companies such as Jawbone and Fitbit, makers of fitness bracelets that monitor a person’s vitals when they are working out. Google has also recently announced special Android powered merchandise that use several sensors to keep track of the user’s vital statistics and measure workout parameters such as distance jogged and calories burned.