Billion dollar acquisitions in the tech industry are nothing new, but they rarely catch the attention of people who don’t usually follow industry news. A recent acquisition has got everyone talking though, and it makes sense why, considering Facebook decided to buy WhatsApp for an eye watering $19 billion. Analysts have questioned the value, critics hold the view that Facebook paid too much. However Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, believes that WhatsApp is worth a lot more than $19 billion.
Addressing attendees at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Zuckerberg said that he thinks WhatsApp is more than $19 billion “by itself,” adding that even though right now its hard to make this case given the fact that the world’s largest cross platform messaging service doesn’t have enough revenue to match that number. He sees value in WhatsApp reach, already over 460 million strong, Zuckerberg believes its very well on its way to have more than a billion people, and that “the reality is there are very few services that reach a billion people in the world,” he said. He should know, he has built one after all. However Zuckerberg does consider the possibility that he might be wrong, and that there exists the chance of WhatsApp getting to a billion people but not being that valuable, but considers it “a great fit” for Facebook. The aim is to leverage its user base to drive more growth for Facebook, and to help WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum achieve “his dream of reaching a lot more people.”