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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said it is buying Pryte, a Finnish mobile data plan provider. The social network reportedly wants to use the company to take Internet to users of mobile phones who live in under-developed areas of the world. Facebook wants to make it possible for them to use Internet apps in a likely bid to boost its user numbers and thus, make more money (lest you think Facebook’s motives are entirely altruistic).
Facebook buys Finnish startup
According to Reuters, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) did not release the financial terms, although a spokesperson did say that they expect it to close before the end of the month.
Pryte is a startup in every sense of the word, as it has not even launched its services publicly yet. The company targets mobile phone users who do not purchase mobile data plans and are located in emerging markets. Those in emerging markets have little access to mobile Internet, either because it is simply too expensive or because of a lack of availability. Pryte had planned to sell short-term passes to allow access to some mobile apps like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) or Foursquare.
Facebook makes an acqui-hire
According to the spokesperson for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), they were mainly interested in the team of people who developed Pryte, which basically makes this acquisition an acqui-hire. She told Reuters that the company’s experience and also relationships with mobile carriers in emerging markets are of particular interest to Facebook as well.
At this point it is still unclear just how many of Pryte’s fewer than 30 workers will be going over to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as part of the deal.
Facebook’s top priority
Zuckerberg has said in the past that one of the things Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) wants to do moving forward is connecting the “next 5 billion” people to the web. The acquisition of Pryte is the social network’s latest step in achieving this goal. It has also partnered with a number of mobile carriers in the world’s emerging markets for its Internet.org project.