Google is back on the acquisition trail. Late last night it announced it had bought Toro, a startup that enables developers to market their apps on Facebook.
Originally known as Red Hot Labs, it was created by Amitt Mahajan and Joel Poloney, who had previously co-founded a MyMiniLife, a virtual world which users to create their own spaces and homes.
Neither Google nor Toro revealed the acquisition price, nor has either company outlined the reasons for the deal or what Google is going to do with Toro, beyond the fact that it will become part of Google’s mobile advertising business.
In statement on its website, Toro, indicated it will continue to support existing customers, but urged those who were looking to market their apps to Facebook to look elsewhere. “For our existing marketing customers, we will continue to optimize your campaigns and update your dashboards, though campaign creation has been suspended for the time being," it states.
There isn’t much more in the statement, other than the fact that it will use the added resources that Google has at its disposal to “make the life of app developers easier.”
In the three years of its existence, the statement reads, Toro built multiple apps for users in the mobile space, which have in turn enabled app developers radically grow their user base.
Toro is small even in startup terms. Last year, it raised $1.5 million in a funding round that included Greylock and Andreessen Horowitz. In addition there are other companies other there that can provide the same kind of technology.
However, with the rise of paid media experiences on mobile, along with the fact that Google is looking to mobile devices to boost its advertising revenues, controlling the processes used to develop app experiences is increasingly important.
That doesn't specifically describe Toro. But the people behind it have a lot of experience developing and pushing apps, so it is possible that this is simply about buying experience and expertise.
Both Mahajan and Poloney held multiple positions at Zynga, which acquired MyMiniLife in 2009, before starting Toro.