Buyout

Foxconn to acquire Sharp for $6.2 billion

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.

SwiftKey acquired by Microsoft for $250 million

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.

Zagg acquires battery case maker Mophie for $100 million

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.

Apple acquires education startup LearnSprout

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.

Apple acquires AI startup Perceptio

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 ‚ÄúApple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.‚ÄĚ

Apple acquires mapping visualization startup Mapsense

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.

Apple believed to have acquired motion capture firm Faceshift

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‚ÄĒa 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.

Adidas buys fitness app maker Runtastic for $239 million

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.

Apple acquires augmented reality firm Metaio

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.

Apple acquires GPS firm Coherent Navigation

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.

Apple quietly purchased Dryft keyboard app last year

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.

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

Apple has quietly acquired Ottocat, reports TechCrunch, a little-known startup with some interesting¬†search tech.¬†The deal went down¬†a few years ago‚ÄĒsometime in 2013‚ÄĒbut¬†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.