Business planning, Growth, Local, Sell a business

Facebook acquires founders of Carsabi, but not the start-up itself

Michelle Hammond /

Facebook has acqui-hired the founders of Y Combinator start-up Carsabi, who are attempting to sell the service to focus on their new jobs, which could include Facebook’s new “Gifts” feature.

 

Carsabi, a comparison site for used cars, was created by Dwight Crow and Christopher Berner in October last year, with the goal of easing the process of purchasing a used car.

 

“But now it’s time for us to take a different turn,” the founders wrote in a blog post, after being acqui-hired by Facebook.

 

“Because Facebook is not acquiring Carsabi.com, we’re looking for someone to buy the Carsabi service, so the two of us can focus on our new jobs,” they said.

 

While it’s unknown what the duo will be working on at Facebook, TechCrunch has suggested they could be assigned to its new Gifts feature, believed to be the result of an earlier acquisition.

 

In typical form, Facebook has remained tight-lipped over the Carsabi deal, simply stating it “can’t wait” for Crow and Berner to join the company as they are both “great entrepreneurs”.

 

It’s shaping up to be a big week with regard to acquisitions, as fellow tech giants Google and Square have also made purchases.

 

According to a report by Forbes, Google has acquired Viewdle, an augmented reality and facial recognition start-up, for a rumoured $30 million.

 

Viewdle, which was founded in the Ukraine in 2006, is currently headquartered in Silicon Valley and has operations across Europe and South America.

 

While neither Viewdle nor Google has confirmed the acquisition, the news comes just a few weeks after Google acquired Nik Software, developer of photo-editing service Snapseed.

 

Meanwhile, mobile payments platform Square has spent some of the $200 million it raised last month, acquiring New York-based design firm 80/20 for an undisclosed sum.

 

A Square spokesperson described the 80/20 team as “amazingly talented”, having designed “beautiful products for some of the most well-known technology companies in the world”.

 

“Their experience… will be a huge asset to Square,” the spokesperson said.

 

Meanwhile, the 80/20 team said it is “thrilled” to announce it is joining Square, which will use 80/20 as its first real foray into the New York market.

 

“At 80/20, we’ve been fortunate to work on amazing products and platforms,” the company wrote on its website.

 

“In every project, we’ve started with the belief that the best design gets out of the user’s way and that you can craft unforgettable user experiences by keeping things simple and obsessing over the details. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we’re joining Square.”

 

“Together, we will re-imagine and redesign how people communicate through commerce every day, all around the world.”

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