Techmeme
February 20, 2014, 1:00 AM

Top News

Facebook:
Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for $4B cash, $12B in Facebook shares, and $3B in restricted stock units, CEO Koum to join Facebook's Board  —  Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp  —  Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross …
Jim Goetz / Sequoia Capital:
WhatsApp in numbers: 450M active users, 32 engineers, $0 in marketing, and only $1/year to use  —  Four Numbers That Explain Why Facebook Acquired WhatsApp  —  WhatsApp Co-Founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton  —  Earlier today, Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp for $16 billion.
Jan Koum / WhatsApp Blog:
WhatsApp says it will remain autonomous and nothing will change for users  —  Facebook  —  Almost five years ago we started WhatsApp with a simple mission: building a cool product used globally by everybody.  Nothing else mattered to us.  —  Today we are announcing a partnership …
Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook:
WhatsApp and Messenger serve different uses, Facebook will continue investing in both  —  I'm excited to announce that we've agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook.  —  Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.
TechCrunch:
Why Facebook Dropped $19B On Whatsapp: Reach Into Europe, Emerging Markets  —  With 450 million monthly users and a million more signing up each day, WhatsApp was just too far ahead in the international mobile messaging race for Facebook Messenger to catch up as you can see in the 2013 chart above.
David Rowan / Wired.co.uk:
WhatsApp: The inside story  —  When he was living on welfare, Jan Koum's family collected food stamps a couple of blocks from the unmarked Mountain View office that now houses his messaging company, WhatsApp.  An émigré at 16 from Communist Ukraine — where phones were routinely tapped …
Parmy Olson / Forbes:
Jan Koum's rag-to-riches tale, which ended with him signing the WhatsApp deal on the door of his former welfare office  —  How Jan Koum Built WhatsApp Into Facebook's New $19 Billion Baby  —  Jan Koum picked a meaningful spot to sign the $19 billion deal to sell his company WhatsApp to Facebook earlier today.
Thanks:@rmac18
Amir Efrati / The Information:
Google offered to pay WhatsApp to notify them of any acquisition talks, but was rebuffed  —  Google's Unusual Offer to WhatsApp  —  More than six months ago, Google approached WhatsApp with an odd offer: It would pay the mobile messaging startup in exchange for the right to be notified …
Zoran Basich / Venture Capital Dispatch:
Facebook's $19 Billion WhatsApp Acquisition Is Largest Ever for Venture-Backed Company  —  Facebook's acquisition of mobile-messaging company WhatsApp for about $19 billion is the largest deal ever for a venture-capital-backed startup. … The deal tops US West Media's acquisition …
Dan Primack / Fortune:
35% of Facebook's cash is being used for the WhatsApp deal; Sequoia to make 3.5B from its $60M investment  —  Facebook-WhatsApp: The other numbers  —  Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $19 billion.  But that's not the only important number.  —  FORTUNE — Like many of you …
More: TechCrunch and UbergizmoTweets: @stevecheney
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Google Fiber chooses nine metro areas for possible expansion  —  Google Fiber is ready to expand, as Google has identified nine metro areas scattered around the country as possible sites of deployment, the company said.  —  “We've invited 34 cities in nine metro areas across the US to work …
Rich McCormick / The Verge:
T-Mobile offers $250 to upgrading BlackBerry users after manufacturer and fan outrage  —  Carrier also offers $200 to upgrade to from BlackBerry to another manufacturer's phone  —  BlackBerry users on T-Mobile who want to upgrade will now receive $250 towards any BlackBerry phone …
Tom Simonite / MIT Technology Review:
Yahoo Launches $10 Million Research Effort to Invent a Smarter Siri  —  Academics at CMU will try to extend Yahoo's services with mobile apps that act like personal assistants.  —  Yahoo's future mobile apps could come with a dash of intelligence that lets them act like personal assistants.
More: Yahoo Labs
Washington Post:
DHS cancels national license plate tracking plan  —  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday ordered the cancelation of a plan by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to develop a national license plate tracking system after privacy advocates raised concern about the initiative.
More: Engadget and The Verge
Jeff John Roberts / Gigaom:

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Microsoft:
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Zoho:
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Igloo:
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