Home > For Venture Capitalists > Facebook’s WhatsApp Acquisition: who’s left behind?

Facebook’s WhatsApp Acquisition: who’s left behind?

Today’s breaking news are all covered by Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition on WhatsApp. TechCrunch reports, “Facebook is purchasing messaging giant WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock, according to a regulatory filing. The deal is being cut for $12 billion in Facebook shares, $4 billion in cash and an additional $3 billion in RSUs for employee retention.”

Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition has become one of the biggest acquisitions in the last 5 years in IT sector. Meanwhile, the biggest winner behind this acquisition: Sequoia Capital raises into our horizon. According to The Wall Street Journal, this deal is “the largest deal ever for a venture-capital-backed startup”, given a list of the biggest M&As on record for venture-backed companies, according to VentureSource:


1) Continental Cablevision — $11.8 billion, by US West Media, in 1996

2) Skype Technologies SA — $8.5 billion, by Microsoft, in 2011

3) Cerent — $6.9 billion, by Cisco Systems, in 1999

4) WebMD — $4.8 billion, by Healtheon, in 1999

5) Chromatis Networks — $4.76 billion, by Lucent Technologies, in 2000

6) Siara Systems — $4.5 billion, by Redback Networks, in 2000

7) Sirocco Systems — $3.49 billion, by Sycamore Networks, in 2000

8) Hyperion Solutions — $3.3 billion, by Oracle, in 2007

9) Xros — $3.23 billion, by Nortel Network, in 2000

10) Nest Labs Inc. — $3.2 billion, by Google, in 2014


WhatsApp only had publicized an $8 million Series A funding led by Sequoia, however, “the company had raised two subsequent rounds of financing, including an unreported $50 million Series C round”, and Sequoia was the leading investor. Undoubtedly, this move will give more confidence to venture capitalists and venture-backed start-up companies. After all, it is a company with only 32 employees but owns 450 million active users. This figure is significant for Mark Zuckerberg, but also for the mobile business sector.

This acquisition also draws attention from China across the ocean. There are more than 8 posts on 36Kr today related to Facebook’s WhatsApp Acquisition. Among all the voices, it is clear that people are trying to predict who is the next lucky one to be married with the rich prince, Line? SnapShot? In addition, following this acquisition, will Alibaba make its next move towards Laiwangor Kakao Talk?

As Mark Zuckerberg says, WhatsApp will remain the same, what’s not the same is Facebook now working with a venture-backed company, and the famous Sequoia has never invested in Facebook, so there are more spaces left for thinking.

The note on Jan’s desk

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