Social networking major Facebook is in talks to acquire Bangalore-based Little Eye Software Labs Pvt Ltd, which offers a performance analysis tool for developers that enables them to measure, analyse and optimise Android apps, according to a Business Standard report.
The deal should be closed in a few weeks and Indian Software Products Industry Roundtable (iSpirt), a think tank for software product firms, is facilitating the deal.
When contacted by VCCircle/Techcircle.in, Little Eye Labs' co-founder Kumar Rangarajan, said, "We cannot comment anything on this as of now, as we are bound by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). If any development happens, we will get back to you."
Little Eye Labs was one of the startups that demoed at Techcircle DEMO India held in Bangalore in March this year.
According to Sharad Sharma, a member at iSpirt, the reports about Facebook acquiring Little Eye Labs are speculative. "Deals usually don't happen in December. It is best to wait for the real one in January," he said. Last week at an event in Bangalore, Sharma had said that India would soon see two acquisitions in the product startup space. However, he clarified that this news has nothing to do with his earlier comments.
An email sent to Ashish Gupta, another member of iSpirt and a leading VC investor, did not elicit a response till the time of publishing this article.
Founded in May 2012 by a group of five programme analysis geeks—Lakshman Kakkirala, Kumar Rangarajan, Giridhar Murthy, Satyam Kandula and Aditya Kulkarni—Little Eye Labs develops tools that provide insights into an app and enables easy benchmarking. This happens without changing the code or integration. Its software also allows developers to understand the key performance attributes of the app, such as battery, network data and memory consumption. Little Eye Labs charges $500 per year or $50 per month per developer. A GSF Accelerator startup, Little Eye Labs allows monitoring of all apps built for Android 2.3 or later. When contacted, GSF Accelerator's founder Rajesh Sawhney declined to comment.
Mukund Mohan, an angel investor and director at Microsoft Ventures, which runs a startup accelerator in Bangalore, said, "I don't have any information about this (possible) acquisition; so I cannot comment. I think very highly about Little Eye Labs and their technology."
Why Facebook should look at Little Eye Labs?
We did a little digging as to how/why the startup would be a good fit for Facebook (if the acquisition actually takes place), and here is what we found:
Strong team: The startup has a strong team with members having several years of work experience in leading software companies including Apple, Yahoo, Adobe and HP. Kakkirala, one of the co-founders, is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), while Kandula, another member, is an IIT Kharagpur alumnus. Although other companies are operating in the app performance solutions space, Little Eye Labs could be a good fit as it is relatively new with a small team.
Niche product: Unlike other tools, Little Eye Labs offers a pre-production app performance monitoring solution that helps developers identify bugs in their apps in the first 30 minutes of downloading it.
Good customer base: In an interaction with Techcircle.in in April this year, Rangarajan had said that firm had more than 700 customers, about two-thirds of which were from outside India (with the US and the UK being the top two international user bases for the company).
If this deal comes through, it will be Facebook's first ever acquisition in India.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)