October 10, 2012

Lightbox team to brighten Facebook

As tech scene followers know, in May 2012 Facebook assuaged one of its biggest pre IPO worries – its mobile platform, with the talent acquisition of Horizon client Lightbox.

The Lightbox team were responsible for the development of cutting edge Android mobile applications with their photos app automatically creating beautiful personal photo blogs from a user’s uploads.

Lightbox had raised $1.2m from 500 Startups as well as other key investors including Index Ventures & Accel Partners. As a result Horizon put into place its Progressive package, providing Lightbox with a full and seamless solution.


Lightbox co-founder Thai Trans says ‘my confidence in Horizons expertise and their constant support allowed me to focus on delivering beautiful Android software to the Lightbox community’

When Lightbox was approached by Facebook, so close to the third largest initial share raise in US history, time was of the essence to get the deal done. At this point it was Horizons ability to provide instant hands on support as and when required that was crucial.

Thai Tran explained the deals complexity for this blog post detailing how ‘the talent acquisition structure used for the deal is novel in the UK being only a recent trend in the valley. There were significant implications particularly regarding tax given the Lightbox multinational structure with a US parent and UK subsidiary’. Start-up acquirers want to avoid capturing any liabilities associated with the target company resulting in complex deal structures.

Horizon CEO Pratik Sampat was Thai’s first contact on the deal followed by lawyers and a US accountant. Thai Tran describes how Horizon, working with all parties ‘helped deliver the right result in a short time period where active negotiations were on-going with both investors and facebook’.

Upon successful completion of the detail Thai took off to enjoy pre-book life on an extended honeymoon with new wife Anita Tran, a Horizon employee prior to the acquisition and subsequent move to the valley. Thai was able to fully relax and enjoy himself knowing ‘Horizon were enacting a smooth shutdown of all Lightbox operations from a financial and compliance perspective’

Horizon wishes a favourite client and employee the best of luck with their future in Silicon Valley and looks forward to catching up with them once we open up shop in the US.

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