Since its inception in 1998, Google has acquired over 200 companies in eclectic categories. Deja News was the first acquisition in Feburary 2001 which ended up as the core component of Google Groups. As of July-2017, Halli Labs, a Machine Learning startup, based out of India, is the most recent addition in the Google's portfolio. A myriad of acquisitions were observed in 2014-2015 when company reorganized them under new entity called Alphabet Inc.
Google's focus on Android and Mobile was always higher. Till date, Motorola Mobility remains the most expensive purchase amounting to $12.5 Billion, followed by NestLabs, DoubleClick and Youtube among other dear acquisitions. Google procured companies under disparate categories such as Mobile, AI, Cloud, Robotics, Maps, Communication, Search and Publication. Other than Mobile, Artificial Intelligence was most loved domain. The top and recent acquisitions were observed this category. Plethora of companies acquired by Google were located within United States, while Canada and Europe were the other shopping places loved by Google.
Google acquired maximum number of companies in the period of 2012-2016 (about 40%) which was the same era of culmination of startup ecosystem. Current period of 2016+ is expected to beat any other time period in terms of procuring the companies. The foremost reason is the focus on artificial intelligence and mobile, which is also the topmost priority of Google's fast paced CEO Sundar Pichai.
The rate of acquisitions as well as number of companies acquired has increased drastically over the years. Youtube in 2004-2008, Motorolla Mobility in 2008-2012 and DeepMind in 2012-2016 are the noteworthy acquitions of respective periods. Search in 2004-2008, Mobile in 2008-2012, and AI in 2012-2016 were the key interests of Google as delineated by large number of acquisitions under same categories.
Eric Schmidt served as the the CEO for Google for almost a decade (2001-2011) before annoucing the end of his tenure on January 20, 2011. Larry Page was appointed as the new CEO and served the position till 2015 before passing the torch to Sundar Pichai in late 2015. Page moved to takecare of Google's new entitiy and its parent company - Alphabet Inc.
Though Schmidt served the longest, number of acquisitions under him were least (33) as compared to acquistions by his successors Larry and Sundar (90 and 82+ respectively). Larry Page initially acquiried companies in Social space to protect and grow Google+. But around 2013, he began started laying the ground work for Alphabet, acquired companies in AI, Home Automation and IOT. With over 82+ acquisitions just under 2 years, Sundar Pichai is the fastest CEO in terms of acquiring the companies. The acquisitions under Pichai reflects his versatile priorities - Virtual Reality, AI, Mobile and Photo Editing.
Google acquired companies across protean categories such as - AI (34), Search (10), Cloud (8), Offers (9), Mobile (45), Security (6), Maps (13), Publishing (24), Communication (21) and Social (10). Maximum acquisitions were lead by Mobile category, followed by AI and Search. The focus on mobile was largly driven by competing market, accelerating innovation and choice in mobile computing. Buying companies of Mobile category provided Google the ability to control both hardware and software, by making its own integrated smartphones and other devices.
Mobile First to AI First : Artificial intelligence is a booming field, with revenue up 59 percent in 2017 to $12.5 billion and expeted to surpass $46 billion in sales in 2020. Google has acquired the largest number of AI companies among other tech giants such as Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. Major AI acquisions by Google include DeepMind, Kaggle Inc and API.ai. Majority of them were acquired in the period of 2013-2016
Google has spent $24546000000 on their ten most expensive acquisitions. Most expensive purchase was Motorola Mobility, worth $12.5 billion, despite selling off Motorola to Lenovo for $2.9Billion, Google is holding onto the patents it bought when it acquired the company. Nearly $3.1 Billion was spent on NestLabs, a home automation company in 2014 to augemnt the IOT division, though reports suggested that Nest delivered less than expected following the acquisition. Another $3.1 billion was spend on DoubleClick, the ad technology foundation for digital advertising in 2007, which was double the amount Google paid to purchase Youtube in prior year for $1.65 Billion.
Acquisitions after removing top amounts
Google started a bit slow during 2000-2004, but gradually started acquiring companies at higher pace. Since 2010, the rate of acquiring is, on average, more than one per week. The short time period of 3 months Jan-March, 2014 witnessed a large number of acquisitions tantamount to neary 40 acquisitions. The gap between successive acquisitions, on average, also decreased drastically with time, from nearly 100-200 days in 2000-2004 has came down to 7-10 days in 2016.
Acquired companies are visualized as nodes of different color, size, shape and cooridnates. The notable yellow diamond is the Israeile company Waze (GPS Navigation Software) that was acquired for $966 Million. The acquisition was primarily aimed at improving Google Maps. DeepMind Technology from UK (plus shaped orange node), API.ai, and Apigee (circular shaped orange nodes) from US are recent additions in AI space, indicating the focus on enhancing google's AI portfolio . Myriad of circles indicate majority of acquisitions from North America region, followed by plus shaped nodes - acquisitions from Europe region. Other significant nodes are Youtube, NestLab, Motorolla and DoubleClick.
X-axis: Year of acquisition
Y-axis: Month of acquisition
Size : Acquisition Amount
Communication Search Publishing Maps Mobile Misc Youtube Security Social Offers Cloud AI
● North America ■ South America ▲ Australia ◆ Asia + Europe