By Christian Zibreg on Mar 6, 2014
The popular Swedish music-streaming startup, Spotify, has just purchased The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company in the business of synthesizing billions of data points and transforming them “into musical understanding to power smarter music applications for our customers”.
And just who those customers might be? Well, the startup powers a myriad of music services, among them Spotify rivals like Rdio, iHeartRadio, Nokia MixRadio, Twitter Music and others so this is clearly a well played move on Spotify’s part.
While The Echo Nest will meet all contractual obligations to all customers, Spotify’s Graham James made it clear his company will scrutinize these relationships and “determine the next business steps”… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2014
Flipboard has announced this morning that it has acquired popular news reader app Zite from CNN. The company didn’t disclose pricing details, but word has it that it went for $60 million and part of the deal is that Flipboard will begin syndicating CNN content inside its apps.
For those unfamiliar with the app, it’s billed as an ‘intelligent magazine’ that helps you discover interesting things to read. Almost like a Pandora for RSS feeds, Zite analyzes millions of articles each day to offer you content on over 40K topics based on your habits and preferences… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 4, 2014
TechCrunch is reporting that Intel has acquired smartwatch maker Basis for between $100 and $150 million. The buyout follows a scoop from February that the startup was shopping itself around to a number of high-profile tech firms including Google, Microsoft and yes, Apple.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Basis makes a smartwatch-like device called the Basis Health Fitness Tracker, which it calls the “world’s most advanced health tracker.” The wearable is capable of capturing heart rate patterns, tracking multiple sleep stages and much more… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2014
Since Facebook announced last week that it would be acquiring WhatsApp for $16+ billion, pundits have been trying to make sense of the deal. How can a messaging app startup be worth so much more than say, Motorola Mobility, which has thousands of employees?
According to Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not. It’s worth more. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, the CEO said that WhatsApp was a ‘great fit’ for his company and that it was worth more than the $19B ($16B + $3B in vested shares) they paid for it… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 21, 2014
TechCrunch is reporting that Apple has acquired Burstly, the company behind the popular iOS testing platform TestFlight. There’s no word on the details, or pricing, but the company has confirmed the acquisition and its employees are already working in Cupertino.
For those unfamiliar with the service, TestFlight allows developers to distribute its apps to beta testers before pushing them to the App Store for release. It’s similar to HockeyApp, and several developers create their own testing platforms via Apple’s enterprise program… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 21, 2014
Verizon last September announced that it has reached an agreement with Vodafone to buyout its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless in one of the largest corporate acquisitions in history.
In December, the Big Red carrier won necessary approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and today the company announced that the acquisition has been completed - Verizon now owns 100 percent of the “industry-leading U.S. wireless carrier”… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 20, 2014
The entire Internet is abuzz right now with this whole Facebook and WhatsApp deal. For the few that haven’t heard yet, the social network announced yesterday afternoon that it has agreed to acquire the cross-platform messaging giant for a staggering $16 billion.
Since the announcement, details of the buyout negotiations between the two companies have begun to slowly trickle in, and as you might expect, some of them are rather interesting. Fortune, for example, is reporting that Google actually offered to buy WhatsApp first… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 19, 2014
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, in an interview Bloomberg today confirmed speculation that his Palo Alto-based electric car company has held talks with Apple. He wouldn’t comment on what the conversations revolved around, but noted that an acquisition was “very unlikely.”
Musk’s comments follow a report by The San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week that suggested the two were in buyout discussions. The paper claimed that the meeting took place in Cupertino between Musk, Tim Cook and Apple’s chief of mergers and acquisitions Adrian Perica… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 19, 2014
Facebook has announced this afternoon that it has reached a deal to acquire WhatsApp, the makers of the popular cross-platform messaging app, for a staggering $16 billion. That’s $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion in Facebook shares.
The social network says that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently after the acquisition, but claims the deal with WhatsApp—who has nearly 500 million users—”accelerates Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world.”
By Cody Lee on Feb 17, 2014
TechCrunch is reporting this evening that Basis, the company behind the Basis Health fitness tracker, has put itself up on the auction block. And, as usual, there are a number of high-profile tech companies interested in buying it including Microsoft, Google, Samsung and yes, Apple.
To be more specific, Basis makes a smartwatch-like device that it calls the “world’s most advanced health tracker.” It has built-in sensors capable of capturing heart rate patterns, tracking multiple sleep stages and calorie expenditure by activity, and even monitoring skin temperature… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 16, 2014
As Apple continues to seek growth outside of smartphone and tablet markets, we’ve heard various rumors speculating on what areas the company could enter next. Automotive and medical industries have been popular answers as of late, and today a report added weight to those theories.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting today that Apple has been exploring both cars and medical devices to reignite growth, and the scoop is filled with interesting tidbits. For example, the outlet claims Apple execs met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year to discuss a potential buyout… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 14, 2014
This is kind of interesting. The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the popular voice call app Viber has agreed to a deal to be acquired by Rakuten for $900 million. For those unfamiliar with the e-commerce giant, it’s essentially Japan’s version of Amazon.
Viber is available on all major mobile and desktop platforms, and is one of Skype’s biggest competitors with over 300 million users worldwide. It was one of the first apps to allow 3G VoIP on the iPhone and it now supports land-line calls, messages and even push-to-talk… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 31, 2014
When news hit earlier this week that Google had agreed to sell its Motorola Mobility unit to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, it surprised a lot of people. Not only was the sale price some $10 billion below what Google paid for Motorola 3 years ago, but Lenovo? Where’d that come from?
According to a recent Fortune interview with Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yan, that was the plan all along. Yan says that his company has been eyeing Motorola since before Google came along , and it has major plans for it. Lenovo wants to become the #1 smartphone-maker in the world… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 30, 2014
Zynga has reached a deal to acquire NaturalMotion, the UK-based gaming company behind Clumsy Ninja and other titles, for half a billion dollars. The announcement came this afternoon, alongside the sad news that Zynga would be laying off 15% of its work force.
The deal is interesting for a few reasons. The first is the price tag: $527 million in cash and Zynga stock. That makes this the company’s largest acquisition to date—more than twice its OMGPOP buyout. And two, it signals a change of direction for the game-maker… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2014
Yahoo’s shopping spree continues as the company announced Thursday its newest acqui-hire: San Francisco based Incredible Labs, the team behind a rather compelling virtual assistant app named Donna.
Incredible launched Donna on iOS last summer. Named after Donna Moss, the popular assistant from the TV show The West Wing, the software is basically a cross between Google Now and Siri.
The application strives to manage your day with features like smart notifications, an anticipatory calendar and in-app directions, to mention but a few. Donna would proactively tell you about upcoming appointments, dial into conference calls for you, let others know when to expect you by analyzing traffic conditions and your frequent locations – even taking into account the little things like the current parking situation.
In November, Donna got updated with Lock screen calling, smarter meeting scheduling and other features. Nothing indicated at the time that Incredible would slow the pace of Donna development, let alone sell out to Yahoo.
Unfortunately, there is some bad news for Donna fans out there: the Internet giant will be shutting down the application following the acquisition… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 29, 2014
Well this is an interesting turn of events. It appears that Google has decided to sell its Motorola Mobility arm to electronics giant Lenovo for $2.91 billion. The deal is said to include the entire Motorola division and some 10,000 of its 17,000 patents.
If the deal gets approved, Google would be selling Motorola for far less than the $12.5 billion it paid for it back in 2011. It looks like it’s holding on to some of Motorola’s IP though, and retaining licenses to its other patents, so it wouldn’t be a total loss…
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2014
Google is getting closer to becoming SkyNet after laying its hands on artificial intelligence startup DeepMind Technologies for a reported $400 million, with some sources claiming as much as $500 million. According to a scoop by Re/code, a new project by former AllThingsD and WSJ journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, Google has confirmed the deal but wouldn’t wouldn’t specify a price… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 14, 2014
Google’s acquisition of the smart thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest Labs, which came out of the blue yesterday, has certainly set tongues wagging. And when you think of it, the shock and awe didn’t stem from the business side of things – it came from buying users of a lovable service in a non-physical space, but whose relationship with the service is part physical.
And to think it all began like a fairy-tale…
Here’s a cutesy little startup led by Tony Fadell, a former Apple engineer who used to lead the iPod’s development over seventeen generations before leaving Cupertino amid feud with design guru Jony Ive and iPhone software head Scott Forstall to co-found Nest Labs, along with fellow Apple staffer Matt Rogers.
“Starting a business focused on the lowly thermostat seemed like a crazy idea at the time,” Fadell wrote yesterday in a blog post. Turned out a lot of people fell in love with his smart thermostat. Just as Nest was about to complete another round of funding, Google swept in and bought the company outright for $3.2 billion in cash.
Sources claim Google was the only serious bidder and Apple was not in the mix. Heck, the iPhone maker didn’t even bother to put up a fight. But why? Here are some of the more popular theories floating around (feel free to add your own in the comments)… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2014
The Internet giant Google has announced that it has bought Nest Labs, the maker of a family of iPhone-controlled smart thermostat and smoke and carbon monoxide detector devices for connected homes. Nest will continue to operate independently of Google and won’t share customer data with them. Nest was founded by the brilliant engineer Tony Fadell who used to work at Apple where he was charged with the iPod music player project.
Yes, the iPod Godfather now works for Google! The transaction is valued at a whopping $3.2 billion in cash. Google paid quite handsomely to buy Nest, didn’t they? Considering Nest raised about $80 million in venture funding, the acquisition qualifies as one of the most profitable exit strategies among Silicon Valley startups.
iDownloadBlog’s Jeff Benjamin reviewed the Nest learning thermostat and was impressed with its sleekness and functionality, the $249 price point be damned… Read More