These days, it doesn’t take long for a successful tech company to get acquired by a bigger player.
Below are a few cool takeovers related to online marketing from this year where each acquirer (Pac-Man) paid (ate a power pellet) to acquire the target (Om Nom Nom Nom the ghost).
If you’re a fan of pretty pictures, here’s a graphic that incorporates these 2012 tech acquisitions, and below that, some more in-depth analysis to tickle your fancy.
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Facebook & Instagram
Date of Acquisition: 6-Sep-2012
Cost: Facebook paid approximately $1 billion USD, with $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of common stock. Since Facebook’s became a publicly listed company, its shares have decreased from $31 to $19 a share, so the billion dollar deal is now worth a measly $730 million.
Facebook: The all-conquering social network was launched in 2004, and now has over 1 billion active users. That’s a lot. If it were a country it would be the third most populated in the world, after China and India.
Why the merger will work: Both websites pander to the need for self-expression, and are a hit with the tech generation. Facebook has stated that it is keen for Instagram to grow independently, so Instagram’s winning formula isn’t likely to be diluted.
Amazon & Kiva Systems
Date of acquisition: 19-Mar-2012
Cost: $775 million (USD)
Amazon: The world’s largest online retailer started as a web based book store, but soon ballooned out into music, retail goods, apparel and a wealth of other products. It was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1994 and now delivers around the world.
Kiva Systems: A warehouse robotics company, Kiva Systems produces robots that take the legwork out of managing stock.
These orange androids self-navigate warehouses using sensors, providing instant access to goods.
Why the merger will work: Amazon are hoping to improve their margins by reducing spending on warehouse processing. Having an automated warehouse system will hopefully make the business more efficient. And those orange robots are pretty nifty. Apart from a Terminator-esque Rise of the Machines, what could go wrong?
Salesforce & Buddy Media
Date of Acquisition: May-2012
Cost: $689 million (USD)
Salesforce: Offering cloud-based sales solutions, this enterprise computing company had their start in customer relationship management (CRM), before broadening into the ‘social enterprise arena’. No, this isn’t some gladiatorial battle location, it’s a place to enhance communications between people and companies with a view to increasing sales.
BuddyMedia: This company creates software for social marketing. In simple terms, this means they help brands manage their social media presence and interaction. Based in New York, they also have offices in Asia and Europe.
Why the merger will work: Salesforce has gone on an absolute frenzy of acquisitions lately, collecting companies like Sonic collects coins. With another piece to the social marketing puzzle, they look to almost have the picture complete.
Google & Wildfire
Date of Acquisition: Jul-2012
Cost: $250 million (USD)
Google: In 1999 internet analyst Steve Harmon said that comparing Google to Yahoo! was like comparing “a junior-varsity player and Michael Jordan.” How wrong he was. This search engine is now so ubiquitous it pretty much owns the internet. If you haven’t heard of it, you may as well give up now; stay under the rock. It’s cool there.
Wildfireapp: A social media management platform which was started partly through funding from Facebook, this group holds numerous successful companies as clients, including Amazon, Virgin and Spotify. Wildfire combines social promotion and advertising software, mobile and desktop page management, messaging and analytics, all under one platform.
Why the merger will work: With all the research power in the world, you’d think Google has a pretty good idea of what to put their money behind. As social media continues to explode, there will be an increased demand for the kind of service Widfire provides.
LinkedIn & Slideshare
Date of acquisition: 3-Mar-2012
Cost: $119 million (USD)
LinkedIn.com: Like Facebook without the whiny statuses, this is a networking site for professionals. It has over 175 million users who use the platform to self-promote, to find talent, and to build professional relationships. It is also used for business news, research and to drive business decisions within companies.
Slideshare.net: Like Youtube’s less hyperactive cousin, Slideshare is a hosting website for slideshows. Designed mainly for educational and business purposes, it has around 16 million registered users, and has a mass of presentations designed to inform, educate, and even amuse.
Why the merger will work: Both websites have a clear emphasis on professional networking and development. With an opportunity for greater linking (pun intended) between the two, this acquisition has the potential to greatly enrich online communication between professionals.
SEOmoz & Followerwonk
Date of acquisition: 15-Aug-2012
Cost: $1-4 million (USD)
SEOmoz: This trailblazing Search Engine Optimisation software developer and online community was formed in Seattle in 2004. The team now provide SEO improvements for those all around the world.
Followerwonk: A Twitter analytics tool, Followerwonk allows you to get a detailed knowledge of your twitter base, and to compare business competitors.
Why the merger will work: Followerwonk is another exceptional tool to add to SEOmoz’s smorgasbord of SEO software. By allowing users to search bios, compare users, analyse, track and sort followers, Followerwonk is a sure fire way to success.
It’s been a big year for tech acquisition, with markets shifting as quickly as technology improves. Who knows what we’ll see next year? We’ll leave you with a few possibilities for 2013
- Apple-sung Gangnam Style – Putting aside their highly litigated differences, Apple and Samsung join forces to destroy all in their path. In a bold move Apple moves its offices from California to the Gangnam district of Seoul, heralding a new era in computer development.
- Facewords – While Google is busy pouring its efforts into Google+, Facebook sneaks in the back door and gets cosy with Google Adwords, thereby becoming the online advertising powerhouse.
- Stumbling Frog – Screaming Frog SEO Spider and StumbleUpon join forces to create a website that suggests pages for SEO enthusiasts based on user preferences for great titles, metatags, inbound links and new content.
If we’ve made you think, made you laugh or made you mad, leave a comment below and we’ll make an effort to get back to you.