Tag Archives: acquisition

Google acquires AIMatter

Commentary

The market for artificial intelligence (AI) is booming. According to Narrative Science’s survey last year, AI is already being used by 38% of enterprises and is predicted to grow to 62% by 2018. In addition, Tractica estimates that AI-related revenue will reach $37 billion by 2025. With so much at stake, it’s no wonder that companies are investing in AI. Last week, Google beefed up its AI portfolio by acquiring Belarus-based based startup AIMatter for an undisclosed amount. AIMatter is the creator of the Fabby app, a computer vision app that uses AI technology to instantly recognize and process facial characteristics the way humans do. Fabby uses filters to identify different parts of a selfie and aptly applies hairstyle, makeup, and backgrounds. Although Google did not disclose how it intends to use AIMatter’s technology, the acquisition underscores Google’s big shift from “mobile-first” to “AI-first.”

Disney buys $1.58 billion stake in BAMTech

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The Walt Disney Company is ending its streaming and distribution partnership with Netflix in the hopes of starting its own digital video streaming service. Last week, Disney acquired majority ownership of BAMTech in a $1.58 billion deal. BAMTech is Major League Baseball’s interactive media and internet unit that provides video streaming for premium channels like HBO, NHL, PGA Tour and WWE. BAMTech claims to have around 7.5 million paid subscribers and this transaction values BAMTech at $3.75 billion. With more people migrating from cable TV to video streaming, this new partnership between Disney and BAMTech will help position Disney as a major player in the booming video streaming space and enable the company to be competitive amidst evolving consumer viewing habits. Furthermore, BAMTech will collaborate with ESPN to launch a “multi-sport” subscription streaming service for live regional, national and international sporting events.

Airbnb acquires Tilt

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Tilt (formerly Crowdtilt), the digital payments startup that lets individuals to share bills and collect payments from a group, has been acquired by Airbnb for a little over $60 million—a price tag that’s significantly less than its reported valuation of $400 million back in 2015. According to reports, Airbnb acquired Tilt for its product, but not its business. Founded in 2012, Tilt’s free app became a hit among students looking to raise money with friends as well as for splitting the bill. However, the company’s decision to focus on growing its user base instead of revenue has caused it to lose money. The acquisition will give Tilt an exciting new lease on life and allow Airbnb to expand its expertise around group travel.

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.