Friday, June 6, 2014

May Acquisitions - a “Google” Month

Six acquisitions in 17 days! Let’s call it a "Google" month, although May was a blossom month for other companies as well, like Microsoft, Apple Yahoo and others. Microsoft made two purchases on the same day, two more Apple acquisitions during May. Several “big” companies buy smaller ones from time to time and many of them do not discuss any purposes or plans concerning the purchases.

May started with Microsoft acquisition of GreenButton, a US and New Zealand-based high-performance cloud-computing company which allows industries that need large amounts of compute power to more easily use the cloud to run their compute-intensive workloads – no recoding required. 

Another acquisition on the same day, not bad! This time Microsoft adds Capptain, a French startup that helps app developers to retain new users with targeted push notifications based on their behavior and real-time analytics. Capptain's service supports apps on all the major smartphone platforms, like Windows Phone, Android, iOS and BlackBerry OS, as well as on Samsung SmartTV sets.

It’s the second day of the month – high time for Google to start its campaign! The first company, acquired by Google in May is Rangespan, a London-based provider of back office services for online retailers, using data science to help them expand their product selection based on real-time sales dynamics. This is the third acquisition of Google out of the UK this year after AI-specialist DeepMind and anti-malware startup

Apple has acquired LuxVue Technology, a Silicon Valley-based company that's been working on micro-LED screen technologies. Micro-LEDs have the potential to improve battery life while offering brighter screens than competing technologies. 

Google acquires Adometry, an Austin-Tx.-based firm that specializes in online ad attribution–that is crediting various online ads for influencing a person to take an action, such as clicking on an ad or buying something. 

Google made one more acquisition that points to its interest in building up its relationship with local businesses. Google is buying Appetas, a site where restaurants can build websites for themselves, integrating services like GrubHub and OpenTable to add extra features like delivery services and reservations. Google says it will shut down the service. I wonder why it bought the site then? What will be its future?

Today Google acquired cloud monitoring service Stackdriver. The company plans to roll many of the service’s features into its Cloud Platform in the coming months. Stackdriver, launched in 2012, allows its users to monitor their cloud applications, automate some of the devops when things go wrong and see detailed stats about how they are using their cloud platforms.

Cybersecurity company FireEye has agreed to acquire network forensics company nPulse Technologies for $60 million in cash and $10 million stock, according to the company. NPulse is headquartered in Charlottesville and has offices in Chantilly and Lansdowne.

Arris paid approximately $5.7 million for Ontario-based SeaWell, which  makes a manifest manipulation technology that enables next-generation targeted advertising and personalized video services.

Yahoo has bought Blink, a mobile messaging startup whose app lets users send messages that will self-destruct at a time set by the sender. Blink is a product of Meh Labs, a company founded by ex-Googler Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan. Originally, the startup had been focused on a location-based service calledKismet which grew popular. Blink, which was launched in April 2013, will shut down its app for both iOS and Android platforms in coming weeks following the acquisition. 

Quest Visual has been acquired by Google. With the acquisition, Google gets Quest Visual’s tech, which it will incorporate into Google Translate in the future. And while the apps Quest Visual has created in the past likely won’t be supported once that transition is complete, the startup is making them available along with all language packs for free on Google Glass, Google Play and Apple’s App Store for a limited time.

Last Google acquisition of the month - Divide, a New York-based startup that offers a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solution for corporate environments. The deal can help Google make further inroads into corporate settings. Founded four years ago, Divide’s basic features are free, but it has a premium service.

Apple acquires the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of $3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time.

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