Facebook Buys India Startup Amid Push to Add Mobile Users

Facebook Inc. (FB) acquired a technology startup in India as the largest social-networking service seeks to bolster its presence among mobile-device users.

Facebook bought Little Eye Labs, which develops tools that Android application developers can use to analyze and enhance efficiency of mobile apps, the Bangalore, India-based company said on its website. Financial terms weren’t disclosed for Facebook’s first purchase in India and Carson Dalton, the India spokesman of Menlo Park, California-based company, declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

Billionaire Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is stepping up efforts to help Facebook, the top seller of online advertisements after Google Inc., generate more of the company’s ad revenue from mobile. Ad spend by U.S. companies on mobile devices will account for 23 percent of digital-ad expense in 2013, up from 12 percent in the previous year, according to New York-based researcher EMarketer Inc.

“If this company helps you analyze the mobile apps and usage patterns of users, it would enable doing data analytics. That is extremely important information for advertisers,” said Urmil Shah, a Mumbai-based analyst at Kim Eng Securities Pvt. “That is ultimately where Facebook would make money.”

Little Eye Labs, whose entire team will move to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, was set up about a year ago, according to the statement. Founded by Kumar Rangarajan, it received financing from angel investors GSF India and VenturEast Tenet Fund, according to Little Eye’s website.

The company is “focused on producing useful and engaging mobile apps,” Subbu Subramanian, Facebook’s Bangalore-based engineering manager, said in an e-mailed statement. “The Little Eye Labs technology will help us to continue improving our Android codebase to make more efficient, higher-performing apps.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bhuma Shrivastava in Mumbai at bshrivastav1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at aghosh@bloomberg.net

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