Facebook have added to their assets today picking up mobile loyalty company Tagtile. The company describes itself as a mobile loyalty company that helps companies interact with their customers and better hold their attention. The news comes in the same week as the company acquired Instagram in a massive deal reported to be worth $1 billion. The social network is clearly on a drive to acquire valuable companies before it announces its plans to go public expected later this year.
The move appears to be a talent buy rather than a product acquisition. Facebook has in the past acquired companies for the teams operating in them rather than any ability to use their products. The buy out of Tagtile is surely an attempt to beef up Facebook’s portfolio of teams familiar with mobile technology as Facebook’s performance in that area has not been exceptional in the past. The company was hugely criticized for the amount of time it took it to release a dedicated application for the iPad even as that product became more and more popular with consumers. It looks like Facebook do not want to make the same mistake again. Even after that App was released it suffered from several bugs that made it the target of much criticism.
Tagtile is not just a software company but also offers a hardware device called the Tagtile cube. That device is placed on the counter of participating merchants and recognizes the smartphone IDs of the customers. The hardware uses NFC so users can tap their smart phones off the device and business can use the data to analyse their sales. Tagtile say that they are not going to continue operations in the same way one they join Facebook which adds credence to the idea that this is a talent buy rather than a product buy for the company.
Facebook’s IPO will happen later this year according to projections. The company hopes to get around $5 billion from their going public. If the IPO is valued at that level the company will be worth an estimated $100 billion. It was revealed earlier this month that the company would list on the Nasdaq under the ticker FB. Forecasts for when the IPO will actually happen range from May to September and this acquisition along with the earlier acquisition of Instagram will spur speculation in what is bound to be the hottest IPO of the year.