Google acquisitions in 2014 A
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January 2014 -- Google acquires Bitspin GmbH, a developer of the elegant Smart Rise alarm app based on sleep-cycle theory. The stylish app runs on the Android operating system for mobile devices and is available on Google Play. Bitspin's Timely can be used to synchronize alarms across multiple devices owned by a user.
January 2014 -- Google plans to sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.9B. Google will receive $660 million in cash, $750 million in Lenovo shares and a three year note worth $1.5 billion. Google will retain key patents acquired in the original deal. With this semi-graceful exit, Google will receive a boost to its bottom line and potentially achieve improved relationships with hardware partners such as Samsung that use Android mobile operating system.
January 2014 -- Google acquires DeepMind for a reported $625 million. DeepMind is an artificial intelligence company that builds learning algorithms for applications such as recommendation systems for e-commerce. Google's acqui-hiring of Deepmind will help it compete against other players focusing on deep learning. Facebook has recruited Yann LeCunn (former NYU professor) to head the company's artificial intelligence lab. IBM is investing $1 billion in its Watson supercomputer division that is working on deep learning. Yahoo has acqui-hired the LookFlow team to lead its deep learning initiative.
January 2014 -- Google is acquiring Next Labs for $3.2 billion in cash. Nest makes smart thermostats and smoke alarms for homes. If approved by regulators, the acquisition will be Google's second largest, second only to the Motorola Mobility deal. Nest has been a leader in the Internet of Things, which involves enabling everyday objects with communications technology to become more efficient and convenient. Google Ventures had previously invested in Nest, leading two financing rounds in 2011 and 2012.
January 2014 -- Google acquires Impermium Corporation, a provider of social content cleaning services for Web sites and social networks defending them against abuses such as social spam, fake registrations and inappropriate language.
February 2014 -- Google acquires SlickLogin, which has developed technology that allows users to authenticate password-protected accounts by placing a smartphone near a computer or tablet. The application verifies that user’s smartphone is close to a device using proprietary technology.
February 2014 -- Google acquired Spider.io, a developer of technology to identify and weed out fraudulent clicks relating to online ads. The technology also helps detect attacks originating from devices infected by malware. Spider.io’s seven employees, including founder Douglas de Jager will now join Google. Three of these seven employees are PhDs.
March 2014 -- Google acquires Green Throttle Games, Inc, which developes games and hardware for mobile devices and consoles. Green Throttle sold its Atlas game controller, together with an Android Arena app that worked via bluetooth. Google is apparently interested in Green Throttle's expertise in bluetooth-based gaming controllers as part of its plans for a forthcoming set-top TV box.
April 2014 -- Google purchases Titan Aerospace, which is developing jet-sized drones designed to fly non-stop for years. Google reported that Titan's technology might be deployed to capture geo-images and provide Internet access to remote areas. Titan has about 20 employees (including CEO Vern Raburn) who plan to remain in New Mexico. Titan will work with Google's Loon, a project developing large, high-altitude balloons that provide Interent signals to remote locations. Titan also may work with Makani, another Google acquisition building an airborne wind turbine for electricity.generation.
May 2014 -- Google purchase Adometry. Adometry focuses on online ad attribution, which attempts to credit online ads for stimulating a user to click on an ad or buy a product. Google Analytics Premium business supports websites in managing data, traffic, and ad reporting. Adometry’s technology will be used to support the growth of that business.
May 2014 -- Google acquires Stackdriver, which develops technology to support developers in monitoring apps and services running in the cloud. The company's technology provides visibility into errors, performance, behavior, and operations. The Stackdriver team will work on integrating its technology with the Google Cloud Platform.
May 2014 -- Google acquires Appetas, a website that restaurants can use to build their own websites, adding services such as OpenTable to provide features like delivery services and reservations. Google plans to shut down the service and apparently will integrate it with Google’s location-based services and restaurant content obtained from the Zagat acquisition.
May 2014 -- Google acquires Quest Visual whose Word Lens technology enables a person to use a smartphone or other device to frame a series of words they want to translate. Word Lens recognizes the text (for example, a road sign in a foreign language) and automatically replaces it with a translation into the desired language.
May 2014 -- Google acquires Divide, which develops technology to support companies in managing the growing diversity of mobile devices used by employees. Divide helps corporate-IT departments keep employee smartphones and tablets secure in the enterprise. In contrast to Apple, Google has traditionally controlled less tightly apps in its Play store, thereby making Android apps more susceptible to malware. The Divide acquisition could provide Android with more penetration in the enterprise market.
May 2014 -- Google acquires Rangespan, a UK-based online shopping retailer. The company was founded in 2011 by Ryan Regan and Matt Henderson, two former Amazon executives. Rangespan provided back office services to companies that included Tesco. The company had raised $5 million in venture capital from Octopus Investments.
June 2014 -- Google acquires Skybox Imaging for $500 million. Skybox designs small, relatively inexpensive satellites that gather daily photos and video of the Earth. Skybox's nano-satellites weigh about 260 pounds, as compared to the tons that traditional satellites that can weigh. Their low-Earth orbit satellites are intened to stay in orbit for about four years.
June 2014 -- Google acquires Allpental, which is working to develop inexpensive, high-speed wireless Internet service using the 60GHz band of spectrum.
June 2014 -- Google acquires, mDialogm which develops technology that allows large media companies and manage and deliver video advertising across a range of products, including iPhones and iPads, Android devices, and streaming products such as Xbox and Roku.
June 2014 -- Google acquires Dropcam for $555 million. Dropcam deveops and markets wi-fi-connected video cameras and services that stream live video to mobile apps. The service sends alerts based on activity sensed by Dropcam cameras and lets users communicate with people in their homes while they are away. The company's products and services can be used as a home-security system.
June 2014 -- Google acquires Appurify, which offers technology that automates the testing and optimization of mobile apps and websites for developers. Appurify was founded in 2012 and current has 20+ employees who will join Google. Google Ventures had led an investment round in Appurify, so the deal represents a staged acquisition. Application testing and optimization is a big deal for Android. Tim Cook (Apple CEO) has highlighted Android's fragmentation problem, quoting others who have dubbed Android a “toxic hellstew of vulnerabilities.”.
July 2014 -- Google acquires Songza, a music streaming service that develops Android and iOS apps for delivering human-curated music stations based on individual mood and activity. The company has built data and algorithms that predict what users will enjoy listening to given geography, time of day, weather, or current activity.-- from sleep to sex.
July 2014 -- Google acquires drawElements, which develops a graphics test that helps companies such as smartphone and chip manufacturers determine if their offerings are compatible with Google’s Android.
August 2014 -- Google acquires EMU, a developer of a mobile instant application that includes a virtual assistant that analyzes conversations and then automates everyday tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing reminders, making restaurant reservations, or sharing your location with a friend. Messaging is becoming the digital hub for mobile, much as email became for the desktop. In acquiring Emu, Google continues to beef up the future of what its messaging ecosystem could become.
August 2014 -- Google/YouTube acquires Directr, which develops and markets an application that enables small businesses to shoot, edit and upload short videos to the Internet. The Directr app will stand alone for now, but the team is joining YouTube's video ad group. Directr's app will now be free to use.
August 2014 -- Google acquires Jetpac, a developer of an app that makes destination recommendations by analyzing shared Instagram photos. Recommendations are made a wide range of activities such as the bars where women go or for the most scenic views. Jetpac employees will join the Google Knowledge team, which is charged with developing a more sophisticated understanding of the real world that can be incorporated search results. The Jetpac app will be removed from Apple's App store on 9/15/14.
Augst 2014 -- Google acquires Gecko Design, a mechanical engineering and product-design firm, with expertise in developing consumer-electronic products. Gecko typically works with a customer's engineers prior to the start of manufacturing. Jacques Gagné (president) and Gecko's four other employees will join Google X. Google X is looking to enhance its design expertise as it builds its pipeline of consumer and commercial products such as Google Glass, Iris smart contact lens, and Project Loon high altitude balloons for Internet access.
August 2014 -- Google acquires Zync Render, a visual effects cloud rendering technology behind film productions such as Star Trek Into Darkness and Looper. Zync's technology has been used in dozens of feature films and hundreds of commercials. Zync will be integrated into the Google Cloud Platform and will offer studios per-minute billing for services. Other plans for the service are likely to emerge. In commenting on the deal, Zync stated: “the scale and reliability of Google Cloud Platform will help us offer an even better service to our customers — including more scalability, more host packages and better pricing (including per-minute billing).” Zync had previously been optimized for work on Amazon’s EC2 cloud service.
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