Earlier this week we revealed that Facebook were the most active acquirer of Nordic Startups in 2014 (Pryte, Moves and 13thLab) and with $14B in cash and securities burning a hole in their pocket, I reckon it’s only a matter of time before they resume shopping in the region, but who is next on their shopping list?
On the surface it may appear that Spotify would be the most obvious candidate, especially if Facebook decided they wanted to make a move in the music space, and the companies already benefit from a close relationship. However, I just can’t see it (although I do believe Spotify’s gesturing over it’s IPO is in the hope of a bid from Google or Facebook) mainly due to two reasons.
Firstly, despite the subsequent purchases of Oculus Rift ($2B) and WhatsApp ($19B), During the Instagram acquisition announcement, Zuckerberg said: “This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”
I believe that Oculus Rift and WhatsApp were simply too good an opportunity at that time to pass up on (driven by FOMO), but I don’t think Spotify fit into that bracket, so I see Zuckerberg enforcing his loosely placed rule in the case of Spotify. Quite simply because if Facebook were going to buy Spotify, they would have done so already, most likely at the end of 2013 when Google were supposedly sniffing around.
Secondly, I just don’t think music is a priority for Facebook right now. Their focus is elsewhere, namely: Video/Mobile advertising, VR, Generation Z Social and perhaps even that elusive OS. And it’s with this criteria that I have identified six Nordic startups who could be at the top of Facebook’s shopping list.