Facebook makes fifth mobile acquisition this year with Karma

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By Kathleen De Vere Comments

Facebook has acquired the mobile gifting and commerce service Karma, according to a blog post on Karma’s website. This is the social network’s fifth mobile-related acquisition in 2012 after Lightbox, Tagtile, Glancee and Instagram.

Launched just months ago in December, Karma positions itself as a user-friendly way for consumers to pick out and pay for gifts culled from a curated catalogue of items. The service hasn’t been a breakout hit; Karma’s Google Play listing shows the app has been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times and it is not currently featured in any of our iOS app leaderboards on AppData. Even so, the blog post says it will continue to operate.

While not a pure-talent based acquisition as with Lightbox or Glancee, Facebook’s Karma purchase nets the company a team with expertise in sales and monetization on mobile. This is a smart move as the company seeks to ensure it can still take in revenues from its increasingly mobile user base. The deal is also the second successful sale for Karma founders Lee Linden and Ben Lewis, the pair behind the original incarnation of Tapjoy, which was sold to Offerpal in March 2010.

The terms of today’s acquisition were not disclosed, but according to SEC filings, Karma had previously raised $4.5 million in funding from  Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital and others.