Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) confirmed its acquisition of Pryte, a mobile data plan startup founded by a team of internet and telecommunications veterans. Pryte allows users to purchase a single mobile data plan on a need-to or per mobile app basis, which could be attractive in emerging markets.
Majority of users in emerging countries do not subscribe to postpaid plans. They use prepaid simcards and buy a certain amount of minutes they need to make a call or send text messages on their mobile phone. Many of these users are unable to access the internet and use apps on their mobile devices.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) acquired Pryte because it is interested in the team behind the company, according to its spokesperson Vanessa Chan. She told Reuters that Pryte has a valuable experience and working relationships with wireless operators particularly in emerging markets. The startup’s team composed of less than 30 employees is headed by its CEO Markku Makelainen. Pryte’s service is not yet available to the public.
In a statement, Pryte’s team also confirmed that they are joining Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The startup wrote, “Since we launched Pryte we have worked to reimagine the way mobile data works in an app-driven world, by enabling partnerships between app and content providers, and mobile operators.
Now, we’re joining Facebook, whose mission to connect the world by partnering with operators to bring people online in a profitable way aligns closely with our team’s goals.”
Pryte also added, “We are excited to get started, and make an even greater impact by advancing the work we are doing in collaboration with Facebook’s great team working to further Internet.org’s goal of making affordable internet access available to everyone in the world.”
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) established a Connectivity Lab to achieve its objective to deliver internet access and connect billions of people in regions such as Africa and Asia that have no internet access yet. The social network giant aims to provide internet access using lasers, drones and satellites.
The company previously acquired Ascenta, a company that developed the first version Zypher, the world’s longest solar-powered drone worldwide. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) also absorbed Ascenta’s team to work on connectivity aircrafts.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that one of the top priorities of the company is to connect the next five billion people through the internet in the future.