Social media collectively balked at the $16 billion price tag attached to the deal between Facebook and WhatsApp, which was announced Wednesday. A few years from now, however, investors could view it the same way they do Facebook's acquisition of Instagram in 2012, the founder of Ironfire Capital told CNBC on Thursday.
Facebook's $1 billion purchase of the photo-sharing service now looks like one of the best and cheapest Internet transactions in recent history, said Eric Jackson, who last year recommended that the founders of WhatsApp resist selling the company.
The WhatsApp deal could follow suit, he said, but on a much bigger scale. Think billions instead of millions.
"It's silly to look backward and say, 'Hey, this is only a company that made $28 million last year, how can we justify this price?' " Jackson said on "Squawk on the Street." "A few years from now, this is ... a service with at least a billion, maybe 2 billion users, and what you could monetize with that is huge."