Speaking at the Mobile World Congress today as part of his keynote presentation, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said that WhatsApp is actually worth much more than $19 billion. Asked how he would justify a $19 billion WhatsApp valuation, Zuckerberg said that the platform is actually worth than that even by just looking at the numbers it has and the average value of each user.
Zuckerberg made reference to apps and how they have managed a much higher average revenue per user, by for example charging $3 for an app. He was however quick to say that buying it actually allows WhatsApp to not focus on their business model but rather on connecting more people so they can reach 3 to 4 billion subscribers. Zuckerberg said over the next 5 years, WhatsApp would focus on connecting more users, which they would have been unable to do on their own.
Connecting more users, he explained, is a key component of the internet.org initiative that Facebook is a lead part of and WhatsApp has been acquired more for that than for an immediate business model.
Asked by the audience if the deal was about monetising the WhatsApp data Zuckerberg responded that WhatsApp actually doesn’t keep any data once its been delivered to the recipient and so there’s real no stored data value to speak of. The company’s focus, he said, was to deliver the data efficiently, and that Facebook would be unwise to interfere with this process by trying to intercept or store the data.