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Microsoft and Qualcomm invest in Team8

Commentary

Microsoft started the new year with a bang by further ramping up its investment in cybersecurity, a fast-growing industry which is expected to reach a market size of $170 billion by 2020. This week, the tech giant, along with Qualcomm, have invested an undisclosed amount in Team8, a two-year old cybersecurity firm based in Israel. Team8 was founded by Nadav Zafrir, Liran Grimberg and Israel Grimberg, top veterans of the prestigious Unit 8200, Israel Defense Force’s technology and intelligence agency. Unlike typical cybersecurity companies, Team8 is a think tank that develops highly specialised startups that tackle the biggest problems in cybersecurity today. The investment in Team8 underscores Microsoft’s commitment to cybersecurity as well as validates Israel’s growing influence in the sector.

Google acquires Cronologics

Commentary

As part of its plans to launch its Android Wear 2.0 in 2017, Google has acquired Cronologics, a startup that specialises in developing operating systems for wearable devices. Cronologics is the company behind the OS of the CoWatch, an Android-powered smartwatch that has Amazon’s voice-activated Alexa personal assistant software built-in. For Google, Cronologics is a logical partner to build its next-generation Android Wear. The Cronologics OS is already fully compatible with Android, and Google may want to use this technology to advance its Android Wear’s voice recognition capabilities as well as enable it to pair with other connected devices like the Google Home.

Trivago files for IPO

Commentary

Early this week, news broke of German online hotel search aggregator Trivago filing for a US IPO, with shares expected to price between $13 and $15, equating to a potential $428 million offering. At the midpoint of the proposed range, the company controls a considerable market value of $4.9 billion. Founded in 2005, and officially listed as Travel B.V, the company will undergo a name change ahead of its IPO which will take place around the 15th December. In 2012, American travel giant Expedia bought a majority stake in the company of 61.6% for $632 million, and will hold its stake post-IPO. Expedia shares are on the rise, as well as those of Priceline and TripAdvisor- two companies which accounted for a majority of Triage’s revenue this year. Currently experiencing rapid revenue and market growth, Trivago will list on the Nasdaq with the ticker “TRVG”.

Apple acquires Indoor.io

Commentary

With the number of indoor location-based services Apple has been acquiring these past years, it’s clear that the technology giant is committed to improving its location mapping, a service that has long been dominated by Google. Its latest buy is Indoor.io, a Finnish startup specialising in indoor mapping. The deal follows the company’s acquisition in 2013 of WifiSLAM, an indoor GPS startup that use wifi signals to pinpoint a mobile phone user’s location. Analysts predict that indoor location and positioning will soon be be huge and will unlock countless opportunities for consumers and businesses. In addition to navigation, indoor mapping can be used for proximity-based messaging, games, promotions, security, location sharing, analytics, and many more.