Facebook acquiring app optimization tool developer Little Eye Labs

The first Facebook acquisition in India reflects a growing focus of local startups on technology development

Facebook is acquiring Little Eye Labs, an Indian developer of a tool for performance analysis and monitoring of Android apps, the startup said.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Little Eye said on its website that it had stopped accepting new customers for its tool, and it is working on a free version of the tool that current customers can use until June 30.

Little Eye in Bangalore said its entire team will move to Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. "From there, we'll be able to leverage Facebook's world-class infrastructure and help improve performance of their already awesome apps," the company said in a post on its website on Wednesday. "For us, this is an opportunity to make an impact on the more than 1 billion people who use Facebook."

The startup released its official version of its product Little Eye for Android in April last year, and since then "had many Android developers and testers using Little Eye Labs to measure, analyze, and optimize their app's performance."

Little Eye, founded in 2012, spotted a good opportunity in app optimization as Android adoption picked up, and more importantly made itself visible, said Sanjay Anandaram, who advises startups in Bangalore.

The acquisition, which was first rumored late last year, is described as Facebook's first acquisition of an Indian company, and reflects the transition by Indian startups from the more popular business model of services outsourcing to developing technologies and products, usually targeted at mobile markets.

These technology-focused startups will have to look abroad to be acquired as there are no large Indian technology companies to acquire them, only IT services companies, Anandaram said. The acquisition of Little Eye will draw attention to the potential of Indian companies, he added.

Facebook could not be immediately reached for comment on the acquisition.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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Tags business issuesmobile applicationsAndroid OSLittle Eye LabsmobileMergers and acquisitionsFacebook

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