Facebook Buys VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion
- 6:12 PM
Facebook is spending $2 billion to acquire Oculus, maker of Rift, a headset designed to immerse you in 3-D games and other virtual realities.
The Facebook social network is used by over 1.2 billion people across the globe, but the world is moving away from desktop web browsers — where the social network began — and towards mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets as well as a new breed of wearables devices. The company has already made a strong push onto smartphones and tablets, and in announcing the Oculus deal, it indicated that the acquisition would help push its social network into the wearable world, alongside things like Google Glass.
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” read a statement from CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”
The company said specifically that it would push Oculus’s brand of virtual reality beyond gaming, into “communications, media and entertainment, education, and other areas.”
Zuckerberg and company have agreed to pay $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, which is valued at $1.6 billion after the close of the market today. The deal also includes $300 million in cash and stock that could go to the owners of Oculus if certain performance goals are reached.
According to Facebook, Oculus will continue to work out of its headquarters in Irvine, California, and it will continue work on the Rift headset. The company has received over 75,000 orders for the device, but it has not yet shipped.