Facebook has announced that it is acquiring Oculus VR for $2 billion, which includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million in shares of Facebook common stock. This happens to be another big buyout after WhatsApp. The deal also promises a $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.
Oculus is known for its virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift that has received orders for more than 75,000 development kits. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has remarked that Oculus’ technology will not only be used in the gaming (which is undoubtedly the primary one), but also for many other experiences like “court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face.” This means that Facebook is planning to extend Oculus’ technology to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas. Zuckerberg also notes that his intention is to bring the augmented reality into our day to day life.
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”
“We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world,” said Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. “We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning.”
Oculus will continue to operate from its headquarters in Irvine, CA, and will continue development of the Oculus Rift. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. We expect to see a new virtually communication platform sooner or later.