Onavo

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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.

History[edit]

Onavo was founded in 2010 by Roi Tiger[1] and Guy Rosen.[2] Roi Tiger previously led the security technology team at mobile handset manufacturers Modu.

Onavo has had two rounds of funding: the first was a Series A investment for $3 million from Magma Venture Partners[3] and Sequoia Capital[4] 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[5] for Magma Venture Partners and other Israeli venture capital firms.

In October 2013, Facebook bought Onavo for an undisclosed sum.[6]

Products[edit]

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.[7][8][9][10]

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.[8] 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".[11][12][13]

Reception[edit]

Onavo won multiple awards in 2011. The company received first prize at the Mobile Beat 2011 conference hosted by VentureBeat,[14] 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.[15][16]

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.[17][10][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roi Tiger - CrunchBase". 
  2. ^ "CrunchBase - Guy Rosen". 
  3. ^ "Magma Venture Partners - CrunchBase". 
  4. ^ "Sequoia Capital - CrunchBase". 
  5. ^ Goldenberg, Roy (Jan 5, 2015). "Israeli VC raises $855m in new funds in 6 months". Globes. 
  6. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (Oct 13, 2013). "Facebook Buys Mobile Data Analytics Company Onavo, Reportedly For Up To $200M… And (Finally?) Gets Its Office In Israel". TechCrunch. 
  7. ^ "Data hungry apps revealed with Onavo Count, free usage tracker for iOS". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  8. ^ a b Cutler, Kim-Mai. "Finally, A Quantcast For Mobile Apps? Onavo Launches Insights". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  9. ^ "Onavo Extend helps you use less data on Android". CNET. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  10. ^ a b "Facebook's New 'Onavo Protect' VPN is a Spyware App". ExtremeTech. 2018-02-14. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  11. ^ Morris, Betsy; Seetharaman, Deepa (2017-08-09). "The New Copycats: How Facebook Squashes Competition From Startups". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-08-15. 
  12. ^ "The New Copycats: How Facebook Squashes -2-". Fox Business. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-08-15. 
  13. ^ "Facebook knew about Snap's struggles months before the public". Engadget. Retrieved 2017-08-15. 
  14. ^ Hardawar, Devindra (Jan 24, 2012). "Mobile data shrinking app Onavo raises $10M, working on compression for Android". Venture Beat. 
  15. ^ "Meet Onavo, crunching mobile data to save you money [Video Interview] #TNW2011". The Next Web. 
  16. ^ "And The Next Web Startup Rally Winner is…SILK #TNW2011". The Next Web. 
  17. ^ Perez, Sarah. "Facebook is pushing its data-tracking Onavo VPN within its main mobile app". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  18. ^ "Facebook's Protect security feature is essentially Spyware". IT PRO. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 

External links[edit]