Facebook likes WhatsApp

The social networking giant paid $19 billion for the mobile messaging start-up.

Read time 5min 50sec

Facebook's multibillion-dollar acquisition of WhatsApp dominated the international ICT scene last week, although there were plenty of other take-overs by some of the big names, such as Apple and Google.

At home it was a quiet week that included some small M&A activity.

Key local news

* Satisfactory interim figures from Mustek, with revenue up 9.5% and profit up 23.1%.
* Mixed interim numbers from Blue Label Telecoms, with revenue down 4.1% but profit up 6.4%.
* Mediocre interim figures from Jasco, with revenue down 3.9% but profit down 48%.
* Positive trading updates from Altron and MTN.
* Dark Fibre Africa acquired Conduct, a last-mile fibre solutions provider.
* Nashua Holdings bought a 60% stake in Prodoc Svenska, a Swedish office automation, document solutions and workflow provider.
* Convergence Partners invested in 4Di Capital's Fund 1, in a move designed to up the ability of the latter to back technology entrepreneurs.
* Renewed JSE cautionaries by TCS.
* Nick Christodoulou was appointed SA country manager for Symantec.

Key African news

* Sung Woo Han was appointed VP and MD of Samsung Electronics Southern Africa.

Key international news

WhatsApp is used by over 10.6 million adults in SA, according to World Wide Worx.

* Apple bought Burstly, an analytics start-up.
* Astellia, a French-based provider of network and subscriber intelligence for mobile operators, purchased Ingenia Telecom, a Spanish provider of network analysis and radio optimisation solutions for mobile operators.
* Bharti Airtel acquired Loop Mobile, a Mumbai-based mobile operator/network, for $113 million.
* Facebook bought WhatsApp, a mobile messaging start-up and the largest-ever acquisition for a venture-backed company, for $19 billion.
* Google acquired SlickLogin, an Israeli security start-up; and Spider.io, a Web-fraud tracker.
* QLogic purchased certain assets and non-exclusive licences of Broadcom for $147 million.
* Sungy Mobile acquired GetJar, a mobile apps distributor.
* TiVo bought Digitalsmiths, a personalised video search company.
* Google made investments in Ionic Security, a cyber-security start-up; Renaissance Learning, an education technology start-up; and ThreatStream, a provider of a new cyber security intelligence platform.
* Tencent made an investment (20%) in Dianping, the operator of a Yelp-like Web site in China.
* Mail.ru and Yandex might dual list in Moscow. Currently, they are listed in New York and London respectively. Naspers is a major shareholder in Mail.ru.
* Telecom New Zealand will change its name to Spark.
* Good quarterly numbers from Marvell Technology Group, Sapient, Trend Micro and Yandex.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Analog Devices, AVG Technologies and Himax.
* Mediocre quarterly results from EE.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Garmin, with revenue down but profit up; HP, with revenue down but profit up; InterDigital, with revenue up but profit down; SMIC, with revenue up but profit down; and Synopsys, with revenue up but profit down.
* Quarterly losses from Arris Group, Aruba Networks, Gilat Satellite Networks, Groupon, Intelsat and Intuit.
* A planned IPO from Japan Display, the company formed from the loss-making LCD units of Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba, which is likely to be the largest Asian IPO so far this year.
* An IPO filing for the NYSE from UK-based King Digital Entertainment, the company behind the Candy Crush Saga mobile gaming phenomenon.
* An IPO filing for the NYSE by A10 Networks, a provider of advanced application networking technologies.
* An IPO filing on Nasdaq by 2U, an online learning company.

Look out for

International:
* The acquisition by Nokia of Juniper Networks.
* The acquisition by Vivendi of Belgacom's French ICT equipment distributor, Groupe Telindus, the leading Cisco distributor in that country.
* The sell-off by Temasek, Singapore's state investment company, of its 41.6% stake in Shin Corporation (Thailand), the company that runs Thailand's largest mobile operator.

South Africa:
* Further developments regarding the potential Neotel/Vodacom deal.

Research results and predictions

South Africa:
* Mobile data traffic in SA will increase nearly eight-fold over the next five years, according to Cisco's Visual Networking Index.
* WhatsApp is used by over 10.6 million adults in SA, according to World Wide Worx.

EMEA/Africa:
* Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to be about 6% this year, slightly higher than in 2013, and will be fuelled by SMEs, according to the IMF.

Worldwide:
* The worldwide hardcopy peripherals market shipments grew 2% in Q4 2013, according to IDC.
* Global tablet PC shipments will rise to 315 million this year and comprise more than 65% of the mobile PC market, according to NPD DisplaySearch.
* The 3D printer market is expected to grow from 400 000 units this year to about six million units in 2018, according to Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 1.8% (highest-ever weekend close)
* Nasdaq: Up 0.5% (highest-ever weekend close since the year 2000)
* NYSE (Dow): Down 0.3%
* S&P 500: Down 0.1%
* FTSE100: Up 2.6%
* Top SA share movements: Adapt IT (+11.5%), Ansys (-16.1%), Ellies (-7.3%), Huge Group (-9.6%), Jasco (+23.3%), MICROmega Holdings (+8.3%), Poynting Holdings (-14.3%) and Sekunjalo (-12%)

Final word

Cloud-related spending by businesses is expected to triple from 2011 through 2017, according to IHS Technology, a source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today's business landscape.

Global business spending for infrastructure and services related to the cloud is estimated to reach $174.2 billion this year, up a hefty 20% from the $145.2 billion in 2013; and in a sign of the market's vigour, spending will enjoy continued strong growth during the next few years as enterprises everywhere race to come up with their own cloud-storage solutions. By 2017, enterprise spending on the cloud will amount to a projected $235.1 billion, triple the $78.2 billion of 2011.

According to Jagdish Rebello, a senior director and principal analyst for the cloud and big data at IHS, the cloud touches nearly every consumer and enterprise around the globe, thus spending for cloud-related storage, servers, applications and content will be dedicated toward building a framework that is rapidly scalable, highly dynamic, available on-demand and requiring minimal management. In addition, the robust growth will come as an increasing number of large and small enterprises move more of their applications to the cloud, while also looking at data analytics to drive new insights into consumer behaviour. Spending on cloud services, applications, security and data analytics will account for an ever-growing portion of total IT expenditures undertaken by enterprises. The most engaged among spenders will be those seeking to ensure their continued relevance to consumers in the future.

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