It’s a good thing there are scores of new tech startups founded every year, because the appetite of tech giants like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) for promising startups has increased markedly over the last year or so. These tech giants are snapping up promising young companies right and left these days, in many cases before the business model has even really begun to mature.
Facebook acquires Branch
Branch chief exec Josh Miller announced the acquisition in a Facebook post this morning, but did not offer a lot of details nor disclose a price. Sources with knowledge of the deal told The Verge that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s offer of $15 million was just too sweet to turn down, especially when Zuckerberg and company promised to bring his whole team on board at Facebook as part of a new group called “Conversations,” whose goal will be to assist people “connect around their interests.” The Conversations team will remain based in the Big Apple.
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The post also mentioned that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) asked Miller and his team to join them to “build Branch at Facebook scale,” which fits well well with Facebook’s recent refocus on actual news instead of celebrity news, gossip and user content.
Background on Branch
Branch was founded almost two years ago (March 2012), and brought an initial financing of $2 million to the table. The cash came from a number of well-known investors including SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, Betaworks’ John Borthwick, as well as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams.
The actual conversation-platform Branch launched from Beta testing almost exactly one year ago, and was doing well, with their invitation-only model not limiting growth as some as feared.
Branch also recently launched Potluck for iPhone, a news app that gives users abstract-like news clips you can share inside the app.