Facebook’s $19 Billion WhatsApp Acquisition, Contextualized

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Facebook Stock Falls 5% After Hours Following WhatsApp Purchase [Update: Now Down Only 2.64%]

Facebook just announced it’s buying WhatsApp, a global messaging platform with 450 million MAUs, for approximately $19 billion. It’s one of the biggest tech acquisitions since HP bought Compaq for $25 billion in 2001.

It means that WhatsApp, which raised a comparatively measly $8 million since its 2011 launch, is now worth nearly $20 billion.

Remember the good old days, when we all raised our eyebrows at the $1 billion Instagram acquisition? Or Lenovo purchasing Motorola Mobility for $2.9 billion?

Simpler times.

Since $19 billion is a ridiculously large amount of money to wrap our heads around, we decided to compare that to other ridiculously valuable things, companies and people.

Enjoy, friends!

$19 billion is…

  • 4x the market cap of BlackBerry
  • Approximately one-third the market cap of Ford
  • 2.8x the market cap of GroupOn
  • Effectively equal to the market cap of The Gap
  • Slightly more than Sony’s market cap (around 10 percent)
  • Around three-fourths the market cap of Delta
  • 7.5 Mark Cubans
  • Almost precisely one-third of HP’s market cap
  • 2 nuclear submarines
  • 62 percent of Twitter’s market cap
  • 76,000 trips to space on Virgin Galactic
  • Almost 60 percent of Sprint’s market cap
  • 25 Instagram acquisitions

The above figures are calculated using the following metrics: The full $19 billion dollar value of the deal, which takes into account RSUs to be given to employees following its closing; and market capitalization of other companies sourced from Google Finance at close — not taking into account after-hours performance. In this way, we compare fair market rates for comparison companies, and the complete cost of the deal.

Image: composite with photo from Shutterstock