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Facebook buys Finnish mobile data startup Pryte

Facebook Inc. (FB) has acquired Helsinki-based Pryte, buying a mobile data-focused startup that was only founded last year.

Pryte, which was formed by a team of telecom and Internet veterans, has sought to develop technology that will enable the sale of mobile data packages tied to real-time user activity. Its technology, which is awaiting patent approval, aims to sell mobile data on a per-app basis. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

User data is important for social networking sites like Facebook as it can help the company target ads that run on Facebook’s News Feed and other ad placements on computers and mobile devices. In 2013, Facebook’s mobile advertising revenue represented about 45% of total ad revenue, up sharply from 11% in 2012 and reflecting the company’s efforts to focus more on mobile as users spend more time on Facebook’s app. Advertising revenue makes up a vast majority of Facebook’s total revenue.

The move to buy Pryte comes after Facebook generated headlines for two pricey deals earlier this year. Already in 2014, Facebook has agreed to pay $19 billion to buy smartphone-messaging app WhatsApp Inc. and nearly $2 billion for virtual reality goggle maker Oculus VR Inc. Both were cash-and-stock offers.