Friday, February 20, 2015

2015 – Starting a New Year with the Best Tech Deals

The internet of things? Can we learn about the future peering into the past? If so, this year will also be a promising one, as 2014 has been marked as the most active year in technology. Before that, 2000 was the most active one.

Numerous acquisitions happen each month, but to make my posts shorter, I select the most important deals only. Surely they are important from my personal point of view; anyway hope that my readers will share the same opinion.

The same “giants” all the time – as if conquering the heights. Do they need the products or the talents, or maybe both? Never remember any company announcing about that.

Year started with social deals – two Facebook acquisitions with two-day interval – not bad. Then Twitter joint the list with its ZipDial acquisition. Ok, let’s switch to the list, not to miss anyone. 

06 January - Facebook Acquires to Help Its Developers With Speech Recognition and Voice Interfaces
Facebook acquired, a Y Combinator startup founded 18 months ago to create an API for building voice-activated interfaces. already has 6,000 developers on its platform who have built hundreds of apps. The product lets developers add a few lines of its code to instantly build in voice control and speech recognition. The platform will remain open and free.  

08 January - Facebook Acquires Video Compression Startup QuickFire
Facebook acquired video-compression company QuickFire Networks, further underscoring the social networking giant’s increasing focus on video. Based in San Diego, QuickFire says, it can quickly convert video formats and allow them to be downloaded with less bandwidth and without a loss in video quality. 

Twitter announced that it has acquired Bangalore-based ‘missed call’ marketing platform, ZipDial, which assigns companies a special phone number which their brands can use in print ads or TV commercials. Customers can call the number and hang up before they are charged for the call. In turn, brands can phone or send text messages about their business to the ‘missed callers’. ZipDial’s clients include Unilever, Disney, Gillette, Amazon, Facebook and, of course, Twitter, whose customers have used the platform for placing orders, receiving coupons or entering contests. 

20 January – Microsoft Acquires Text Analysis Startup Equivio, Plans to Integrate Machine Learning Tech into Office 365
Microsoft announced it has acquired text analysis software startup Equivio, which uses machine learning to let users explore large, unstructured sets of data. The startup’s technology leverages advanced text analytics to perform multi-dimensional analyses of data collections, intelligently sort documents into themes, group near-duplicates, and isolate unique data. 

21 January – Apple Buys UK Startup Semetric to Power up Its Media Analytics
Apple has acquired Semetric, the London-based startup behind music analytics service Musicmetric.  While Musicmetric seems an obvious fit with iTunes and Beats Music, Semetric has also been working on analysing data for games, TV, movies and books so will enhance Apple’s understanding of data around all the digital products it sells. 

Microsoft has reached an agreement to acquire Revolution Analytics - the leading commercial provider of software and services for R, the world’s most widely used programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics. This acquisition will help more companies use the power of R and data science to unlock big data insights with advanced analytics. 

Asia’s richest man is poised to take control of the UK’s biggest mobile phone network, after Three announced it had started exclusive takeover talks with its larger rival 02. The deal would create the UK’s largest mobile phone firm with 31.5 million customers, cutting the number of network owners in the UK from four to three.

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