Apple acquires AI startup Turi for a reported $200 million

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

 

NYT music reporter claims Apple won’t be acquiring Tidal after all

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

 

Apple said to be in talks to acquire streaming music service Tidal

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

 

Facebook acquires company behind popular face swapping app MSQRD

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

 

Foxconn to acquire Sharp for $6.2 billion

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

 

SwiftKey acquired by Microsoft for $250 million

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

 

Zagg acquires battery case maker Mophie for $100 million

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

 

Apple acquires education startup LearnSprout

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

 

Apple acquires AI startup Perceptio

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

 

Apple acquires mapping visualization startup Mapsense

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

 

Apple believed to have acquired motion capture firm Faceshift

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

 

Adidas buys fitness app maker Runtastic for $239 million

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

 

Apple acquires augmented reality firm Metaio

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

 

Apple acquires GPS firm Coherent Navigation

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

 

Apple quietly purchased Dryft keyboard app last year

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

 

Apple reportedly acquired search startup Ottocat in 2013 to improve App Store discovery

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

 

Samsung makes offer to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion

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.

Read More

 

Facebook acquiring web video startup QuickFire Networks

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2015

Facebook is purchasing the San Diego, California-based web video startup QuickFire Networks for an undisclosed amount. The company announced the acquisition on its website today, saying that “key members” of its team will be joining the social networking giant as it “winds down operations.”

QuickFire is known for its propriety software tech that significantly reduces the bandwidth needed to view video online without degrading its quality. The startup will help Facebook build an infrastructure capable of supporting the massive influx of video consumption it’s currently experiencing. Read More

 

Google buys iOS app prototyping startup RelativeWave, makes Mac app free

By Cody Lee on Nov 19, 2014

Google has acquired RelativeWave, the team responsible for the popular iOS app prototyping software Form. Form is available for Mac and iOS, and allows designers and developers to create rich interactive app prototypes and run them on their iPhone or iPad.

In a note on its website today, RelativeWave announced that they would be joining Google to continue their work on the software, saying they “want to get Form in the hands of as many people as possible, and this is [their] first step in accomplishing that goal.” Read More

 

AT&T acquiring Mexican carrier Iusacell for $2.5 Billion

By Cody Lee on Nov 8, 2014

AT&T on Friday announced that it is set to acquire Mexican carrier Iusacell for a total of $2.5 billion, including debt. The two companies have entered into an agreement, which will occur once investor group Grupo Salinas completes its own ongoing acquisition of Iusacell.

The plan, AT&T says, is to expand Iusacell coverage beyond its already near-9 million subscriber base in Mexico. The carrier sees a large potential for growth in the country thanks to recent competitive-friendly changes made to wireless regulations by President Peña Nieto. Read More

 
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