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Walmart reportedly looking to acquire Jet.com

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Walmart is reportedly currently in talks to acquire Jet.com, a rival of Amazon. In a transaction that could value Jet.com up to $3 billion, the deal is the latest in a string of buyouts in the ecommerce space that includes Bed Bath & Beyond’s acquisition of One King’s Lane and Hudson’s Bay’s purchase of the Gilt Groupe. The deal also highlights a growing trend in the O2O strategy being implemented in the retail environment. For Walmart, Jet.com will give finally give the retail giant the chance to revamp its online store and compete head-on with Amazon, which dominates the ecommerce space with a 41.2% market share.

Google acquires LaunchKit

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Google recently announced that it is acquiring mobile app tool maker LaunchKit. Launched two years ago, LaunchKit offers a suite of tools aimed at making the development of mobile apps easier. These tools include Screenshot Builder, App Website Builder, Review Monitor and Sales Reporter. According to LaunchKit, these tools have helped more than 50,000 developers create, launch and monitor their apps. As part of the deal, LaunchKit’s team will be joining Google’s Developer Product Group. The company’s hosted services will be open-sourced and available on GitHub in the next 12 months, and discontinued thereafter.

LinkedIn acquires PointDrive

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LinkedIn has acquired PointDrive, a Chicago-based startup that lets sales personnel share visual content with prospective clients. PointDrive offers cloud-based tools that enables integration of files, videos, graphics, and other content into a webpage that can be presented to customers during a sales pitch. The acquisition is intended to boost LinkedIn’s Sales Solutions platform. The deal follows LinkedIn’s acquisition of Fliptop, its partnership with Salesforce and the launch of its Social Selling Index. According to sources, Microsoft plans to integrate LinkedIn’s sales products within its own CRM products in order to improve sales cycles through actionable insights.

Samsung invests $450 million in Chinese automaker BYD

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In 2015, Samsung Electronics announced its interest in developing futuristic vehicles, including self-driving and electric cars. Today, the company has advanced its push into the automotive segment by investing $450 million in Chinese automaker BYD Company. Backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, BYD manufactures gas-powered, hybrid and electric cars as well as rechargeable batteries. According to BYD, Samsung’s investment will be used to further its research and development activities and boost its battery production. For Samsung, the investment enables it to enter the futuristic automotive market that is presently led by Google, Tesla, Uber and Apple, all of whom are developing their own next-generation cars.