Onavo is an Israeli analytics company that is now known as Facebook Israel. The company provided analytics products for mobile apps, which are in turn, influenced from data collected through the company's consumer VPN products Onavo Extend and Onavo Protect.
Onavo was acquired by Facebook in October 2013. The company's analytics platform has been leveraged by Facebook to internally monitor the performance of competitors, and has been used to influence acquisitions and other business decisions by the company.
Onavo has had two rounds of funding: the first was a Series A investment for $3 million from Magma Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital in May 2011. The second was a Series B investment of $13 million from Magma Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Horizons Ventures. Onavo’s sale to Facebook is one of the top exits for Magma Venture Partners and other Israeli venture capital firms.
Onavo maintains consumer-oriented utility apps, including Onavo Count, which tracks bandwidth usage by apps, as well as Onavo Extend and Onavo Protect, which are VPN services for data compression and security respectively.
In 2013, the company launched Onavo Insights, a mobile analytics platform which tracked the market share and active usage of apps using data from the services. In August 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that since its acquisition, this data has been used internally by Facebook to monitor competitors such as Snapchat, as well as startups that are performing "unusually well". This data influenced Facebook's subsequent acquisition of WhatsApp and the expansion of its live video business. Since its acquisition by Facebook, the service states that users agree to the collection of data surrounding "your use of websites, apps and data", which may be used to "improve Facebook products and services".
Onavo won multiple awards in 2011. The company received first prize at the Mobile Beat 2011 conference hosted by VentureBeat, and the award for most innovative app at the 2011 International Startup Festival, as well as being selected as the "Best Mobile Startup" by The Next Web.
In February 2018, it was reported that Facebook had begun to include advertising for the Onavo Protect app within its main mobile app for iOS users in the United States. This led to denouncements of the app by media outlets, who classified Onavo as spyware because it is used by Facebook to monetize usage habits within a privacy-focused environment, and because the app listing does not contain a prominent disclosure of Facebook's ownership.
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