Even as the news of Google acquiring the SF-based wi-fi connected camera startup Dropcam does the rounds, we take a look at the top acquisitions by the giant. Till date, Google has acquired over 150 big and small companies.
In fact, in the last decade, Google has bagged four out of the Top-20 VC-backed companies that have exited for at least $1 billion . The acquisition costs total to a whopping $9.2 billion (not adjusted for inflation).
The largest private company (in terms of the valuation) acquired by Google in its history is Nest Labs, the thermostat maker which was acuired for $3.2 billion earlier this year. Interestingly, all the Top-10 acquisitions by Google are private companies, if we ignore Motorola mobility which was once publicly-traded. Since then, Google has sold off Motorola to Lenovo. Let us look at the list.
Note: The valuations have not been adjusted for inflation.
Postini, $625 million: This company was bought by Google in June 2007. Spam-blocking and archiving services from Postini were integrated into Gmail for business users.
ITA travel service, $700 million: ITA was a travel service that compiled flight information for airlines and travel agencies including that from Google’s rival search engines.
AdMob, $750 million: Google intends to make mobile advertising a huge business. That’s why it acquired AdMob, a mobile advertising platform in November 2009.
YouTube, $1.65 billion: This deal might not need any explaining now, but when Google bought the video-sharing service in 2009, it was touted to be a huge risk. Google faced potentially billions in lawsuits, due to the huge quantity of copyrighted content that users had uploaded on the video sharing site. Google has since negotiated several contracts with content owners and created a reasonable takedown policy. Estimates put YouTube earnings at more than $US1 billion a year.
DoubleClick, $3.1 billion: The 2007 acquisition of DoubleClick was Google’s foray into the display advertising business and now it boasts making $2.5 billion a year from display advertising business.
Waze, $966 million: One of the most popular and free apps, Waze was a GPS enabled app relying on crowdsourcing traffic info. It was an Israeli startup and provided navigation, live traffic and reporting info. Google bought it in June,2013 and integrated it into its Maps service.
Nest Labs, $3.2 billion: This deal announced in January, 2014 marked Google’s foray into home electronics business. Nest Labs Inc. is a smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker.
DeepMind Technologies, $400 million: DeepMind Technologies Ltd. is a British artificial intelligence company founded in 2011 which was reportedly acquired by Google just days after the Nest deal. Only a few people would be privy to what Google intends to do with that as it is now part of the secret research facility at Google X.
Admeld, $400 million: The company which was launched in 2007 is an advertising optimization platform for publishers and was acquired by Google in June, 2011.
WildFire, $450 million: Google bought social marketing software developer Wildfire in July 2012. The software lets brands serve marketing and ad campaigns on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.
In its bid to take over the world, Google has spanned several businesses and geographies. We previously brought to you a 3-part series detailing this domination attempt.
Part 1: Immortals of the Online World: Google has been on a mission to ‘Organize the world’s information’. Google has a suite of online products namely Search, Gmail, Google+ and a host of other collaboration products.
Part 2: The Secret of the Acquisitions: The world is changing and it is changing fast. To remain relevant and ahead of the wave, Google acquires companies for IP, talent and user base. Over the years it has perfected this art.
Part 3: The Oath of the Ventures: With its investment arm called ‘Google Ventures’, Google focuses on areas like Consumer, Mobile, Commerce, Enterprise & Data and Life Science & Health.
And if all of this is not proof enough that Google is the most innovative company of our times, yesterday it unveiled its self-driving car that runs without human intervention.