Google acquired an ad technology startup invite media on Wednesday this week. Invite media helps buyers purchase advertising from a dashboard displaying multiple ad exchanges in real time. This technology will run side by side with Google’s existing AdX.
The startup from the University of Pennsylvania was offered a deal to Omniture last year; thought the deal fell apart when Adobe acquired Omniture.
However, it is surprising to see how Google did not integrate its last two acquisitions (Invite Media and AdMob) into existing technologies but kept them running separately. The Official DoubleClick blog made this announcement saying,
In recent months, many agencies and advertisers have been asking us to make a bidding platform available directly to them, as they want to take advantage of the opportunities that real time bidding presents. We’re going to continue to invest significantly in improving Invite Media’s technology and products as a separate platform and, in time, make it work seamlessly with our DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) ad serving product. DFA enables advertisers and agencies to effectively plan, target, serve and measure display ad campaigns across the web. Integrating Invite Media’s technology will help DFA’s clients to easily buy ad space across multiple ad exchanges, as part of managing their broader display ad campaigns. Invite Media’s platform will of course continue to be available to any agency or advertiser, whether they use DFA or not.
(Sources: Peter Kafka at AllThingsDigital and the DoubleClick Blog)
Buy.com, a leading online retailer has been acquired by a Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. The transaction price is believed to be $250 Million and the amount will be paid in cash. Rakuten, which many people outside of Japan are unfamiliar with, is the largest e-commerce portal in Japan and one of the largest portals in Asia. Annual revenues at Rakuten run about $3 Billion and 33,000 merchants use the website to sell their stuff.
This acquisition will help Rakuten expand globally and be more competitive to online e-commerce giants like eBay and Amazon. Rakuten has acquired several internet companies outside of Japan in the last few years including LinkShare for $425 Million. There is absolutely no question about the direction of the firm, i.e. global expansion. Rakuten already is very competitive with the Japanese businesses of sites like Amazon, eBay and Google.
Buy.com had tried to go public in 2000 but after suffering through the dot-com era, founder Scott Blum took the company private again in 2001 after buying ti bank from SoftBank for 17 cents a share. Another reason why Buy.com will be in better hands now is the backing Rakuten gets from its CEO Hiroshi Mikitani who is the sixth richest person in Japan. With a strong backing and a better business model, Buy.com can really take over competitors like OverStock.
Google, on Tuesday announced the acquisition of VOIP solution provider Global IP Solutions Holding. The acquisition announced on Tuesday is estimated at $68.2 million.
This puts all the voice and VOIP communications provided by major IM services like Yahoo, AOL, WebEx and Lotus at Google’s mercy. Though, Google has lesser plans to put this technology in their IM. That puts these services in a safe position.
Emerick Woods, the CEO of Global IP Solutions (GIPS) remarked on this development saying,
This is an exciting milestone for GIPS as we join Google with a shared vision to transform and accelerate IP communications. With Google’s global reach, scale and widely recognized leadership, we are confident that our existing customers will continue to be fully supported while we continue to enhance and extend our products and technology at Google.
Just last month, GIPS announced that it was introducing a new technology that would allow Android app developers to integrate video and audio chat options into their products. With this acquisition, Google becomes the owner of two VOIP solution providers, the other one being Gizmo5 acquired in November last year.
Groupon, the much talked about daily deal website has acquired its European clone called CityDeal. This acquisition will expand Groupon from US and Canada to 18 more countries including UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. This truly reflects the strong funding base Groupon has and reiterates its valuation of being a $ 1 Billion company.
Mashable reports that CityDeal was founded by the same people who earlier formed Alando, a clone of eBay which was later acquired by eBay. CityDeal has 600 employees and will continue to operate as usual until the transition completes. There is no word yet on how much Groupon paid to CityDeal and what were the terms of the payment, but with a recent funding round of $135 Million, we definitely know that Groupon has deep enough pockets to pay a good price.
Groupon uses power of the group to bring a great deal every day to major cities across the US. It is a win-win situation for both the businesses selling their products at a discount as well as the hundreds of people who buy the product at a much lower than regular price. Groupon has been growing pretty rapidly and with this step towards global expansion, they are bound to have an effect on how online retailing works.
Mandriva, the Linux distro and the company behind this distro are both up for sale as confirmed by one of the potential buyers. Mandriva is a French company with a Linux distro by the same name. This announcement was made on the French Mandriva portal.
Mandriva is a merger of the Mandrake and the Conectiva distro. Though, it seems like the company is in heavy losses and cannot hold up anymore. Mandriva is also well knows for filing a bankruptcy protection earlier. This time though, it is simply giving up for good.
Mandriva is said to have decided on this a month ago and is looking for potential buyers ever since. A potential buyer includes Linagora, which is a French open-source company. Lingaroa has also confirmed that it is going to acquire Mandriva and they have already started moving Mandriva assets.
Mandriva has been a very popular Linux distro and has gathered a strong following. Once this acquisition completes, Linagora should assure Mandriva users with a continued support and development.
When Siri was introduced a few weeks ago, it made a few people very excited about the direction of web. On the surface, Siri is a simple iPhone app that can act like your personal assistant and doing tasks like reserving a dinner table, calling a cab or checking the weather in a certain city through typed or voice commands. But what really made some tech gurus excited was the technology behind the app.
Siri, does not have a website or a simple data base that it pulls information from, rather, Siri glues together certain APIs available on the web to carry out simple tasks for you. Even though the number of APIs connected together by Siri are pretty small right now, but the potential it promises is nothing less than extra ordinary. It seems like Apple understood this pretty well and hence acquired Siri for an estimated sum of around $200 Million today.
This will give Apple a hold over one of the most promising mobile and web technologies and if Apple is able to patent this technology for iPhone, it will be a huge below to Android. Besides the API thing, Siri also has a fantastic voice recognition system that is better than most of the stuff in the market right now. If smartly used, it will give Apple a lot to build on in next few years.
Twitter has made it’s latest acquisition this Friday. It goes by the name of Cloudhopper and is an SMS service that connects to Twitter. The two founders of Cloudhopper, who were working in partnership with Twitter will now join it full time. This is a part of the expansion plans Twitter has probably decided on after Chirp’s success.
Cloudhopper is described on the homppage as,
Cloudhopper provides mobile messaging technology and expertise to businesses in the wireless space. Currently, Cloudhopper powers some of the largest and most successful mobile messaging (SMS and MMS) campaigns in North America, Europe, and Africa.
This provides new ventures for Twitter’s expansion plan. Twitter has been popular on networks with data access but that is not the situation in most countries. This move will help Twitter expand into markets where mobile voice networks have emerged without giving much thought about data communication.
Twitter acquired Tweetie a few days ago and is also planning to create official apps for all mobile platforms. Twitter is surely looking forward to an expansion into the mobile sector. It also claims that the number of tweets sent over SMS is on a constant rise and the aquisition of Cloudhopper has made it easier for Twitter to provide its services in some specific areas regionally. Thus, the responsibility of maintaining uptime locally falls on Cloudhopper.
(Via: Twitter Blog)
HTC has recently walked out of the Palm deal as a potential buyer after reviewing Palm’s position. HTC, which is the world’s #5 smartphone manufacturer is officially out of the picture now.
An inside source made a statement at Reuters saying,
There just weren’t enough synergies to take the deal forward.
Another company Huawei, a leader in wireless technologies also declined to place a bid for Palm. This has left out Lenovo as the only potential buyer.
In the meanwhile, this news is already taking Lenovo stocks to a 23 month high. Given that Palm can fetch Lenovo a 1.3 billion, which is 54% of current Lenovo cash stash, this deal looks profitable and optimal for Lenovo.
Even after these leaks, representatives from HTC and Lenovo have declined to comment on this matter.
On the other hand, Palm has claimed that it can survive without selling itself. Jon Rubinstein, the chief executive of Palm hopes that other handset manufacturers use its operating system. This can boost the company’s revenue and keep it in business. He has also made a statement claiming its survival saying,
I believe Palm can survive as an independent company. We have a plan that gets us to profitability.
Palm has also revealed that it has not yet made any final decisions on selling itself off. It seems like Palm sure has a plan. Though, the latest on its to-do list is appointing banking advisors to analyze this situation.
(Via: Reuters and Financial Times)
Far away from all the hubbub of China vs. Google, a Chinese company has made a silent albeit important acquisition. The company being acquired is Echolane, one of the top solution providers and consultants for many cloud-based technologies including Salesforce.com. Echolane has been bought by a Chinese technology company called hiSoft which is one of the leading IT outsourcing companies in the world. Founded by Salesforce.com alumni, Echolane will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of hiSoft.
With this latest acquisition in the cloud-based technology, it is clear that Chinese companies know where the future lies and are trying to get ahead of the game. They might not beat Google or Microsoft when it comes to offering cloud-computing, but with globally dominant outsourcing, they’ll probably be involved in the process somewhere in between. With this ever increasing reliance on Chinese companies for outsourcing, would the US ever be able to confront China on any technology issue? Let’s just say Google had deep enough pockets to accept the consequences of walking out of China, but would small and mid-size companies be able to afford to do so? I don’t think so.
With every such move, it’ll just get harder for US to sever technology ties with China. On the other hand, China has proved again and again that when it comes to technology, the world needs them more than they need the world. With Baidu and AliPay, China doesn’t need Google or PayPal, but these global internet giants still dream of establishing themselves in the huge Chinese market and capture billions of dollars of potential revenue.
Reliance is looking to make a big mark in the gaming industry as they have acquired UK based game developers Codemasters to be park of their gaming division Zapak. Codemasters which is one of the oldest British game developers have been seeing yearly revenues of $150 million, so this deal might have been a costly affair for Reliance.
With the 50% stake in Codemasters, Reliance gaming now puts a big foot forward in the International gaming arena. Zapak provides India users with an option to play some really nice oline games, including the popular sport in India, cricket.
On the other hand Codemasters are more into making games for consoles and PC including for the PS3, XBOX 360 and more. The marriage of Zapak and Codemasters would lead to Reliance releasing more affordable desktop games in the Indian market, which has a growing community of console gamers.
The financial details of the deal was not available, however, it could very well be much higher than half a million dollars.