Online messaging service WhatsApp is worth “much more than” the $19 billion that Facebook paid for it, according to the social networking site’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg defended his firm’s valuation of WhatsApp, which currently has 450 million users.
“There’s two parts to the deal – firstly the company itself, what it’s going to be worth and then there is the strategic value in what we can do together,” he said in his keynote talk.
“I think by itself it’s worth more than $19 billion. It’s hard to make that case today because they have no revenue to match up to that number, but the reality is that there are very few companies that can reach one billion people in the world and they are all incredibly valuable.”
Announcing the deal last week, both the companies said that WhatsApp was on track to soon hit the one billion users mark.
“WhatsApp is the most engaging app out there, it blows everything else,” said Zuckerberg. “It’s a great company and a great fit for us, since we have the same vision,” he added.
The deal raised several eyebrows when it was announced, with experts debating whether $19 billion was too high an estimate for WhatsApp.
However, Facebook is also expected to benefit hugely from the deal as it widens its reach to younger users.