Facebook has acquired the mobile messaging company Beluga, according to a note on Beluga's website. Financial details were not disclosed.
Beluga's application allows groups of friends to communicate in private using their smartphones. A user can create a so-called pods, to which friends can be invited.
For now, Beluga's application will continue to function as it does today. Existing accounts and data will not be lost, the company writes.
Recently, Facebook has stepped up its smartphone push. The company has, for example, worked with HTC and INQ on smartphones with tighter Facebook integration. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent a video message to HTC's news conference at the last month -- where it launched the Salsa and the ChaCha -- to say users can expect many more phones with much deeper integration with Facebook to arrive this year.
Today, there are more than 200 million active users accessing Facebook via their mobile devices.
What Facebook's plans are for Beluga and its three founders -- all of whom have at one time worked at Google -- remains to be seen, but more details will be released in the coming weeks, according to Beluga.
This isn’t the first time the company has raised a monster round – Adknowledge secured $48 million in funding from Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) back in 2006.
According to the filing, the equity round wasn’t in relation with an acquisition or merger, which rules out that the funding was raised in relation to the company’s recent purchase of SocialMedia.com’s ad network.
We’ve contacted the company for more information on the financing. From what I can gather, TCV invested again, with JMI Equity participating as well.
According to the filing, certain proceeds from the round will be used to repurchase securities from existing shareholders, including Adknowledge CEO Scott Lynn, President Brett Brewerand an unnamed affiliate of Will Griffith, General Partner at Technology Crossover Ventures.
Founded in 2004, Adknowledge employs over 300 employees and has revenues of $300 million, according to its website. It’s been quite acquisitive over the past few years, as you can tell from the list of bought companies on CrunchBase.
Its most recent notable recruitment was the hiring of former Yahoo chief data officer Usama Fayyad, who advises Adknowledge in its quest to build what it refers to as an “Amazon-like recommendation engine” for online ads.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Adknowledge has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Ft. Myers, New York, and international offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Things only seem to be getting worse for MySpace. Amid reports that the troubled social network is for sale by parent company News Corp., MySpace has just announced massive layoffs at the company. According to PaidContent, MySpace has cut 47 percent of its staff or nearly 500 employees.
Apparently, CEO Mike Jones said the cuts were necessary to “provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability.” On a side note, that could be the most-used sentence in press releases announcing massive layoffs.
MySpace has been on a steady decline in terms of revenues and mindshare and traffic. The social network is even clinging on to rapidly growing rival Facebook in an effort to stay relevant despite a recent, deep redesign and a new mobile site and apps. One a more positive note, MySpace recently renewed its search and advertising relationship with Google.
Also does anyone think it’s odd that layoffs were announced in the midst of Verizon-iPhone hoopla? Yikes.
Source : techcrunch.com
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