Facebook has acquired London-based technology startup Monoidics, a company which writes software for testing applications and making sure any bugs are removed before being released.

Tech City
Staff from Monoidics will move from its Tech City offices to Facebook's London base. (Credit: Reuters)

Founded in 2009, Monoidics is located close to Old Street Roundabout in east London, an area also known as Silicon Roundabout and branded by the government as Tech City, because of the high density of technology startups flocking to the area in recent years.

Monoidics' Infer Static Analyser uses mathematical formulae to work out whether a newly developed piece of software will run correctly. The programme works on all sizes of applications and can recognise when parts of the software have already been checked and updated, so it doesn't unnecessary re-scan the same piece of pre-approved code. Clients include ARM semiconductor, Airbus and Mitsubishi Electric.

Short of buying the entire company, Facebook has agreed to acquire certain assets from Monoidics, and the company's technical team will be joining the social network at its London office - a move known as an acqui-hire, where a company is bought for its products and intellectual property as well as its staff. It isn't yet known how much Facebook spent on the acquisition.

Monoidics said on its website: "In 2009 we started this company with the goal of making the best automatic formal verification and analysis software in the industry. We've gone from theoretical ideas in logics of programs all the way to a company with a world-class engineering team, real customers and an office right in the midst of London's SIlicon Roundabout."

Facebook employee Philip Su announced the acquisition on the social network on 18 July: "We have always focused on hiring smart, talented engineers - and in this acquisition we found many. Their entrepreneurial spirit and desire to make an impact make them great additions to Facebook. We can't wait to have them here."

Indicating how Facebook would use Monoidics knowhow to enhance its mobile apps, Su added: "The asset acquisition represents our investment in the quality of our mobile applications platform and also our people, as members of their talented engineering team will join us to work at Facebook's London office once the deal closes."