Facebook acquires mobile development platform Parse

Facebook(s fb) has acquired Parse, the company that provides tools for developers building mobile apps, the startup announced in a blog post Thursday. The company went through the Y Combinator incubator program and raised a $5.5 million Series A from Ignition Partners back in 2011.

Facebook said the addition of Parse is an acquisition, not a talent deal, and the company would not disclose financial terms. Update: The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal went for about $85 million.

From the Parse blog post:

“Parse has agreed to be acquired by Facebook. We expect the transaction to close shortly. Rest assured, Parse is not going away. It’s going to get better.

We’ve worked with Facebook for some time, and together we will continue offering our products and services. Check outFacebook’s blog post for more on this.

Combining forces with a partner like Facebook makes a lot of sense. In a short amount of time, we’ve built up a core technology and a great community of developers. Bringing that to Facebook allows us to work with their incredible talent and resources to build the ideal platform for developers.”

My colleague Barb Darrow wrote about Parse back in May 2012 when it added a new JavaScript SDK, explaining what the new technology would allow and why it would be an interesting addition to the market:

“Mobile app developers hate dealing with server-side programming, but most need to do some of it. Those server-squeamish developers are the target market for Parse’s new JavaScript SDK, downloadable as of Wednesday.

The promise of the new SDK is that these developers can now build a secure JavaScript application with a backend without having to provision or write code for servers, said James Yu, founder of San Francisco-based Parse.”

In a blog post of his own, Facebook’s Doug Purdy explained why the company wants Parse:

“By making Parse a part of Facebook Platform, we want to enable developers to rapidly build apps that span mobile platforms and devices. Parse makes this possible by allowing developers to work with native objects that provide backend services for data storage, notifications, user management, and more. This removes the need to manage servers and a complex infrastructure, so you can simply focus on building great user experiences.”

To be sure, one of Facebook’s vulnerabilities has been a perceived lack of mobile skills. Parse could help address that.