Even 10 Instagrams from Google wasn’t enough for WhatsApp.
At least not according to a report from Fortune, which cites two sources who claim Google offered the mobile messaging company $10 billion for an acquisition, only to be turned down.
WhatsApp, of course, ended up going to Facebook for a deal worth around $19 billion (including restricted stock). Google reportedly didn’t offer WhatsApp a board seat — whereas Facebook gave up a seat to WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum.
When Facebook plunked down $1 billion for Instagram in 2012, it completely shifted the landscape for app acquisitions. That purchase ended up being what every subsequent acquisition was measured by (don’t forget Facebook also offered $3 billion for Snapchat, which was actually turned down).
By offering $10 billion, Google showed that it wasn’t afraid to outspend Facebook’s previously mammoth (and potentially overvalued) purchases. But Google likely couldn’t have guessed that Facebook would offer almost twice as much.