Facebook Makes Another ‘Acq-Hire’ Chai Labs; Deal Estimated At $10 Million

Facebook has acquired Chai Labs, AllThingsD reports, citing unidentified sources. The deal is estimated to be around $10 million. This is the latest in what’s expected to be a string of acquisitions from Facebook and comes a month after the social net bought travel review site NextStop.

Chai Labs is led by former AdSense product management director Gokul Rajaram. The Mountain View, C.A.-based company raised $1.1 million last fall for a total of $2.4 million since January 2008.

While Chai Labs hasn’t been too clear in the past about what it is and what it does — it says its “mission is to build Internet services that are as ubiquitous, as refreshing, and savored by as many people around the world, as a cup of tea.” More specifically, it also says its platform will help publishers easily customize and launch “scalable, search-friendly sites in several verticals.”

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher says that the purchase is more about talent for Facebook than Chai Labs’ platform. The “acq-hire” idea is a fairly common motivator for Facebook’s buying strategy. Other sites the company has purchased and subsequently shut down include web conversation startup ShareGrove, which it bought in May 2009, and photo sharing startup Divvyshot, which it purchased a month before that.

Just over a year ago, Facebook acquired FriendFeed. Facebook has kept that site alive, but that deal too was thought to be more about the company’s ex-Googlers, which included Bret Taylor, who launched Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Maps and is now Facebook’s chief technology officer.