Everything Facebook Owns: Mergers and Acquisitions from the Past 15 Years

Written by Carly Hallman

What companies does Facebook own? As this social media powerhouse continues to grow and expand its social network with new technologies, many have found themselves asking this very question. Since its first acquisition in 2005, it has spent more than $23 billion on a variety of tech, app, and software companies. A majority of these Facebook acquisitions were undisclosed to the public, so the true number is likely to be even higher.

Does Facebook own Instagram? Does Facebook own WhatsApp? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this chart that explores the many companies owned by Facebook and the technologies that accompanied these acquisitions.

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How Many Companies Does Facebook Own?

Facebook has acquired 78 companies over the past 15 years. The company’s first major purchase was made on Aug. 23, 2005, when they bought the Facebook.com domain name for $200,000, making the official switch from their original domain, Thefacebook.com.

Out of the 78 companies that Facebook has acquired, the costs for just 27 of them have been disclosed to the public. These 27 deals alone were valued to be worth more than $23 billion; can you imagine how much bigger that number would be if all 78 of the Facebook acquisitions had been disclosed?

These acquisitions aren’t always as simple as Facebook paying millions or billions to own a company outright. Many of these deals, especially the undisclosed ones, were for not only the technology that the companies created but for the talented people running these companies and creating these technologies to join the Facebook team.

What Companies Are Owned by Facebook?

Some of the top companies Facebook has acquired include:

  • Instagram ($1 billion)
  • WhatsApp ($19 billion)
  • Oculus VR ($2 billion)
  • com (undisclosed sum)
  • LiveRail ($500 million)
  • Threadsy (undisclosed sum)

While technologies involving mobile commerce, enhanced communication, photo and video sharing, mobile games, and sports analytics are what you’d expect to see in Facebook’s toolbox, you may be surprised at others. Some of Facebook’s more interesting purchases include an emotion detection app, facial recognition software, and a solar-powered drone maker. In more recent years, Facebook has also had a heavier focus on companies that work with artificial intelligence or virtual reality technology. It’s clear that Facebook has put an emphasis on using a variety of new technologies to advance their brand and to expand far beyond being just a social media network that shares photos, videos, and likes.

The 10 Biggest Disclosed Facebook Acquisitions

  1. WhatsApp ($19 billion)
  2. Oculus VR ($2 billion)
  3. Instagram ($1 billion)
  4. CRTL-labs (between $500 million and $1 billion)
  5. LiveRail ($500 million)
  6. Onavo (between $100 million and $200 million)
  7. tbh (less than $100 million)
  8. Redkix (less than $100 million)
  9. Parse ($85 million)
  10. Atlas Solutions (between $50 million and $100 million)

When Did Facebook Acquire Instagram?

Facebook bought Instagram on April 9, 2012, for $1 billion, its largest acquisition at the time. While Instagram wasn’t the biggest of all of the Facebook acquisitions, it’s still talked about as being one of the best business acquisitions in Silicon Valley history. When Facebook bought Instagram, the photo-sharing app had only 30 million users and no revenue. Today Instagram boasts a billion monthly active users, with 500 million of them using the platform every day, and is estimated to have contributed $8-9 billion to Facebook’s revenue in 2018.

Who Owns Facebook?

Facebook became a publicly traded company in 2012 after it became too big and had too many shareholders to continue as a private company. It priced its initial public offering at a value of $104 billion, the largest valuation of an American company at the time. Before Facebook went public, it was owned by its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook’s Top 5 Shareholders

  1. Mark Zuckerberg — 11.92 million Class A shares and 392.71 million Class B shares (53.3% voting power)
  2. Dustin Moskovitz — 48.9 million Class B shares
  3. Eduardo Saverin — 6.1 million Class A shares and 47.2 million Class B shares
  4. Jan Koum — 14.2 million Class A shares
  5. Sheryl Sandberg — 1.5 million Class A shares and 2 million Class B shares

Class A shareholders get one vote per share; Class B shareholders get 10 votes per share.

What Is Facebook’s Future?

Facebook tends to be tight-lipped about their plans for the company, so no one knows for sure what their next move will be, but plenty of guesses are being made. It’s possible that Yelp could be a future Facebook acquisition, giving the company a way to expand its online advertising and enter the lucrative food discovery and delivery market. Facebook also plans to launch its own digital currency called Libra in 2020, so we can expect to see more acquisitions to help this new venture run.

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