Onavo + Facebook = Connecting the World?

Facebook just made a big announcement today that they have acquired Onavo, an Israeli-based company who develops award-winning mobile utility and insights apps. In a nutshell, “Onavo effortlessly extends the value of your existing data plan,” to quote Dave Johnson of CBS MoneyWatch, by monitoring and keeping tabs on your data usage.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but TechCrunch is seeing reports between $100 million and $200 million from sources which include Calcalist and a local Israeli newspaper. Prior to this acquisition, Onavo has raised upwards of $13 million in venture funding from investors such as Sequoia, Horizons Ventures, Motorola, and Magma Venture Partners.

Onavo’s “data monitoring” app was rolled out in 2011 and quickly gained popularity as users were able to compress data usage by as much as 80 percent, depending on which app they were using.

Onavo has supported and, in many ways, pioneered the path to reducing Internet costs for smartphone users. Facebook recognized this, and as a member of the internet.org coalition, sees the potental to leverage Onavo’s exisiting technology to improving Internet access around the world as well as building up Facebook’s mobile opertions. As a whole, Facebook is committed to improving Internet access for the next five billion people and understands that minimizing data usage is key to connecting the rest of the world.

“Today, we’re eager to take the next step and make an even bigger impact by supporting Facebook’s mission to connect the world,” Onavo’s Guy Rosen and Roi Tiger wrote in their blog. They expressed gratitude of the acquisition but remained committed to their customers and ensure privacy will still be upheld.

TechCrunch cited a spokeperson from Faceboook: “Onavo will be an exciting addition to Facebook. We expect Onavo’s data compression technology to play a central role in our mission to connect more people to the Internet, and their analytic tools will help us provide better, more efficient mobile products.”

I believe this merger will allow Facebook to provide even better insights and analytics (already updated that feature not long ago) while boosting their capabilities and presence on mobile platforms. We already know the majority of users are accessing from the mobile interface, so this partnership only guarantees even more exciting features within the app.

What do you think? Will Facebook play a crucial role in connecting the rest of the world? Tell us what you like about Onavo if you’re currently using the app!