Google acquires Toro, a Facebook marketing startup

By | February 25, 2015

Google Inc. has acquired Facebook marketing company Toro (Red Hot Labs Inc), according to an announcement from the company few hours ago.

Google acquires Toro

Toro was formerly known as Red Hot Labs, and it is led by Amitt Mahajan and Joel Poloney. They previously co-founded MyMiniLife, which played a key role in the creation of Farmville (later acquired by Zynga).

Based in San Francisco, Toro claims its services offer the best way to run high performance Facebook campaigns for mobile apps. Their service offers split testing (A/B testing), lookalike targeting and automatic bidding optimization, all packed in what is claimed to be an easy dashboard. In its announcement, Toro writes that joining Google will give team members access to more resources and distribution, allowing them to “continue our mission of making the lives of app developers easier.”

In a statement on the Toro blog, the company said that since launching three years ago, they’d ‘built multiple products in the mobile space, worked with some great partners, and have helped hundreds of apps grow their user bases.’

With this acquisition, it is expected Toro may shift focus away from Facebook. True to it, the company says it will continue to optimize campaigns and provide reports for existing customers, but it won’t be creating new campaigns:  “We recommend working with an alternative Facebook PMD for new campaigns going forward.”

Financial terms or other terms of the agreement are not disclosed in the announcement. Toro had raised $1.5 million in funding from investors, including Andreesen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, General Catalyst, Keith Rabois, Chris Dixon, Bill Tai and Guitar Hero co-creators Charles Huang and Kai Huang.

A Google spokesman has confirmed the news and said Toro will be joining the mobile ads team soon.