Tech mergers: a shot in the arm for startups

by psmedia on March 12, 2014 in General

Tech Mergers

Tech mergers: a shot in the arm for startups

Last month’s mega acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook is certainly not the last of dream buyouts. The need to be ahead in the market with the latest technology, the best talent or largest user base will always fuel mergers and leave the world counting. With investors willing to put their money where the future is, the present should continue to look promising for budding companies. Let us take a look at some major mergers that the world has witnessed in the recent years.

1. WhatsApp-Facebook

Launched in 2009, cross-platform instant messaging app WhatsApp rose to great popularity within the next four years grabbing industry attention. Google is said to have eyed the startup founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton before it finally went to social media titan Facebook in February 2014 for a whopping $19 billion. More details here.

2. Viper-Rakuten

In what was touted as the biggest buyout of an Israeli tech company by an Asian firm, Japan’s largest e-commerce site Rakuten acquired video and voice communications app Viber for $900 million in February 2014. The app, positioned as an alternative to Skype when launched three years ago, has over 200 million users all over the world.

3. Square-BookFresh

Payments company Square bought BookFresh, a startup that makes apps for managing appointments of businesses, in February 2014. Described as an “OpenTable for everything but restaurants”, BookFresh is a platform for small enterprises needing online scheduling services.

4. Parachute-Microsoft

Microsoft acquired Parature, a customer service SaaS provider, for $100 million in January 2014. The acquisition gives Microsoft Dynamics, the customer relationship management platform, a world-class self-service knowledge base to connect with customers, such as gamers, across multiple channels, including email, the web, chat or social media. The acquisition helps Microsoft widen its capability and compete better against market leader Salesforce.com.

5. Tumblr-Yahoo

In 2013, Yahoo acquired social-blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion. The deal was an indicator of the need for older companies to keep up with changing times. With internet users getting younger, more savvy and restless, Yahoo thought it was right to bring on board the platform which allowed people to post multimedia and blog posts and also follow others’ content.

6. Yahoo-Snip.it

In 2013, Yahoo bought Snip.it, a Pinterest-like curation tool that let users ‘snip’ content from the web, organize it, and share on Facebook or Twitter in a single click. Snip.it was founded by Ramy Adeeb and managed by a team of 6 engineers. The idea behind the acquisition was to to pick up the engineering talent, key technology and the product to help Yahoo get into the emerging social marketing segment.

7. Instagram-Facebook

Social media giant Facebook acquired the fast-growing photo taking, editing and sharing mobile app Instagram for $715 million in 2012. With the newbie giving a stiff competition, Facebook did not seem to mind paying a price that was higher than Instagram’s $500 million valuation for the features and future it brought along.

8. Skype- Microsoft

Some eight years after Skype was launched, Microsoft in 2011 stepped in to acquire the internet communications company for $8.5 billion — the largest-ever acquisition by it until then. While at the time of the acquisition Skype was not raking in profits, yet the world’s largest software maker envisioned home video chat’s immense growth potential. There was news that even Facebook was contemplating its buyout, prodding Microsoft to act fast.

9. YouTube-Google

Google acquired video-sharing website YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion — its largest acquisition until then. Although YouTube was still an unprofitable startup, the internet search leader was optimistic about the video-sharing site’s lucrativeness as more and more viewers and advertisers moved from television to the internet.

10. AppJet-Google

Google acquired AppJet, the creator of the real-time collaboration word processor EtherPad, in 2009. The acquired team joined the search engine to work on the development of Google Wave, which was equal parts conversation and document, where people could communicate and work together using texts, photos, videos, maps, etc.

Read : Small Beginnings guarantee Big Returns

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