Facebook took pretty much everyone by suprise yesterday when they bought WhatsApp for a grand ol’ $19 Billion, but apparently they werent the first company interested in the popular cross-platform messaging service.
According to Fortune, Google offered to buy WhatsApp for $10 Billion, but the search giant was turned down because the offer amount was too low, and they did not offer a seat on Google’s board to WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum, unlike the Facebook deal. WhatsApp has over 450 million active users every month, beating all other messaging apps by a huge margin.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has proposed the acquisition to Koum on February 9th, and they finalized a deal just a few days after. According to Business Insider, Koum dropped by Zuckerberg’s house on Valentine’s Day, interrupted a private dinner with his wife, and finalized details and pricing “over chocolate covered strawberries.” That is just hilarious.
Koum will now have a place at Facebook’s board. The WhatsApp co-founder has promised “nothing” will change for users immediately as Facebook plans to run WhatsApp independently, much like Instagram.
Total missed opportunity for Google, which could have easily offered up more cash if they wanted to.