By Cody Lee on Oct 5, 2016
Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, the next-gen AI assistant that was developed by Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer. TechCrunch reports that it will continue to operate as an independent company, providing services to Samsung and its platforms.
Viv made numerous headlines earlier this year, when the team demonstrated the power of its assistant. In one scenario, it was able to successfully order a pizza over the Internet customized with toppings from several employees with a few simple voice commands. Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 28, 2016
Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire SoundCloud, reports the Financial Times. The streaming music service believes the buyout could help it better compete with competitors like Apple Music thanks to its large library of exclusive and user-created content. Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 22, 2016
Apple has acquired an India/US-based machine learning startup known as Tuplejump, reports TechCrunch. The company has essentially confirmed the buyout, offering up its typical “Apple buys smaller technology companies” statement.
This is the iPhone-maker’s third publicly-known purchase of a machine learning company within the last year. Remember it bought out artificial intelligence startup Perceptio at the end of last year, and Seattle-based Turi a few months ago. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 5, 2016
Apple has acquired machine learning and artificial intelligence startup Turi, reports GeekWire. Citing sources close to the deal, the outlet says the purchase price was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million, and the team will stay on and continue its work.
Turi, formerly Dato, builds platforms for developing intelligent applications using machine learning technology. Its products are used by a number of Fortune 500 companies for fraud detection, recommendation engines, lead scoring and other predictive capabilities. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 1, 2016
The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday claiming that Apple was in “exploratory talks” to acquire music service Tidal, which rap mogul Jay-Z bought in March 2015 for a reported $56 million.
Ostensibly, Apple’s interest in Tidal revolves around its strong ties to artists: since the Jay-Z deal, Tidal has given 19 famous artists small stakes in the firm.
The Journal article cautioned that the current discussions might not result in a deal and now Ben Sisario, a music reporter at The New York Times, cited “two highly placed sources” as saying that Apple won’t be buying Tidal anytime soon. Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 30, 2016
Apple is in talks to acquire the streaming music service Tidal, reports The Wall Street Journal. Citing people familiar with the matter, the outlet says the iPhone-maker is exploring the idea because of the service’s strong ties to artists.
Rap mogul Jay-Z bought Tidal in March 2015 for $56 million, and has since given 19 famous artists small stakes in the company. The current talks with Apple may not result in a deal, and it’s unknown what terms have been discussed. Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 9, 2016
Facebook on Wednesday announced that it has acquired the popular face swapping app MSQRD, and the company behind it, Masquerade. The terms of the deal are unknown, but it’s being reported that the founders will be joining Facebook.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the app, MSQRD allows you to apply various filters and effects to your photos and videos—not unlike Snapchat’s ‘lenses.’ You can apply masks, hats and other accessories, or simply swap faces with others. Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 24, 2016
Apple partner Foxconn is set to acquire Sharp for roughly 700 billion yen (or $6.2 billion USD), reports Nikkei Asian Review. The outlet says that Sharp’s board voted on Thursday morning to accept the offer, and plans to restructure its operations under the Hon Hai umbrella.
The deal, which has not been officially announced yet, comes after years of failed negotiations between the two companies. Foxconn has made several attempts to acquire the struggling electronics giant, or large pieces of it, with the latest offer of $5.3 billion coming in January. Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2016
Microsoft is buying out software keyboard maker SwiftKey, according to a report from The Financial Times. The deal is said to be worth $250 million, and the two companies are expected to officially announce the acquisition later this week.
While Microsoft has shown interest in the mobile keyboard space, the report claims that the purchase is all about AI. SwiftKey uses artificial intelligence to predict the next word a user is going to type based on an analysis of their writing style. Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2016
Zagg has acquired popular battery case maker Mophie, the two companies announced on Tuesday. The Utah-based accessory giant has agreed to pay $100 million for Mophie, plus any EBITDA adjustments over that amount for the next year, in cash and debt.
In a press release sent out this afternoon, Zagg said that the transaction will leverage the unique strength of two “industry leaders” in the mobile accessories sector to create a business with greater product diversification and improved operational capabilities. Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 28, 2016
Apple has acquired education-technology startup LearnSprout, reports Bloomberg. The outlet has received confirmation of the buyout with the boilerplate statement, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Terms of the deal are not known at this time, but we do know that the San Francisco-based LearnSprout has raised more than $4 million from investors. The company specializes in education tracking and analytical software, which it has rolled out to more than 2,500 US schools. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 5, 2015
Following news last week that Apple acquired UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ, Bloomberg reports that the company has also recently picked up AI startup Perceptio. A spokesman for Apple has confirmed the buyout with the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2015
Apple has acquired Mapsense, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in tools for analyzing and visualizing location data, Recode reports. A spokesperson confirmed the buyout, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
The deal is said to be worth anywhere between $25 million and $30 million, and it includes Mapsense’s 12-person team and technology. That tech includes a cloud-based tool that allows users to manipulate graphical models of maps that hold huge sums of data, and a recently launched platform for developers. Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2015
Apple may have bought Swiss real-time motion capture firm Faceshift in recent weeks, reports MacRumors. The site points to a company registry filing that shows all three of their original corporate directors stepped down in mid-August, and were replaced by a mergers and acquisitions attorney from Baker & McKenzie—a firm Apple frequently uses.
Faceshift has some interesting technology that can quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. They’ve worked with both game and animation studios, and even built their own software. More recently, the company has been working on a Skype plugin that allows users to transform into avatar characters during real-time video chats. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 5, 2015
Runtastic has been acquired by sportswear giant Adidas, the company’s CEO and co-founder Florian Gschwandtner announced in a blog post on Wednesday. The deal is said to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 million euros (or $239 million).
For those unfamiliar with Runtastic, it develops and maintains a number of fitness apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. It has also dabbled in hardware with a GPS watch, a heart rate monitor, and the recently-released Orbit fitness tracker. Read More
By Cody Lee on May 28, 2015
Apple has acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, according to a recently surfaced legal document. A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the purchase to TechCrunch, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
The filing claims that shares of Metaio were transferred over to the Cupertino firm between May 21st and 22nd, so it seems the acquisition was completed fairly recently. The company, which was essentially an offshoot of an AR project at German automaker Volkswagen, was founded in 2003. Read More
By Cody Lee on May 17, 2015
Apple appears to have quietly acquired San Francisco-based GPS firm Coherent Navigation, MacRumors reported on Sunday. Several of the company’s employees, including the CEO and co-founders, all started working for the iPhone-maker in recent months, and its domain servers were recently updated to point to Apple.
Among Coherent’s technology is something called High Integrity GPS, which offers greater accuracy and precision and higher signal integrity versus standard GPS. It accomplishes this by combining signals from both mid-earth orbiting GPS satellites low-earth satellites used by data provider Iridium for voice and data. Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2015
Apple quietly purchased Dryft, a startup that develops keyboard apps, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The site says that the acquisition happened sometime last year, but the financial terms of the deal are still not known.
Dryft, who TechCrunch notes was a finalist in its 2013 Disrupt startup battlefield competition, gained notoriety for its custom mobile keyboard that would only appear when the user placed their fingers on their device’s display. Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2015
Apple has quietly acquired Ottocat, reports TechCrunch, a little-known startup with some interesting search tech. The deal went down a few years ago—sometime in 2013—but its impact is still being felt today. The site believes the company’s tech is behind the App Store’s fairly new ‘Explore’ section.
There’s little evidence of the acquisition, except for a patent granted to Apple that lists Ottocat co-founder Edwin Cooper as an inventor. The patent is titled “System and Method for Divisive Textual Clustering by Label Selection Using Variant-Weighted TFIDF,” and clearly incorporates Ottocat’s tech. Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015
Samsung has recently approached BlackBerry with an acquisition offer, reports Reuters. Citing a person familiar with the matter, the outlet says that the Korean electronics giant offered as much as $7.5 billion to buy the struggling handset-maker.