This week, Google announced the news that they’re creating a new company called Alphabet. For years they’ve been hedging their bets on the future, and investing in companies detached from their core business.
The fate of tech giants such as MySpace and Nokia are a stark reminder that you’re never too big to fail. Determined not to let that happen, their acquisition strategy is wildly diverse to say the least.
Taking onboard the Google Alphabet philosophy, below we look at the A to Z of interesting companies they’ve acquired over the last 15 years.
A is for AdMob
Acquired is 2009 for $750m, AdMob is a mobile advertising platform serving over 40 billion ads per month.
A robotics company best known for the creation of a robotic dog specifically designed for the U.S. military. At 3 feet long and 2 feet wide, BigDog can carry up to 340 pounds, navigate challenging terrain and travel up to 4mph.
C is for Clever Sense
A mobile application developer responsible for the creation of ‘Alfred’; an app which delivers personalised recommendations for local bars, restaurants, clubs and coffee shops.
D is for DeepMind
An artificial intelligence company. Their mission: solve intelligence! They’ve recently created technology that learns how to play video games the same way humans do. Pretty cool.
E is for Endoxon
A mapping company based in Switzerland who provide European work for Google Maps.
Here’s one for the future, Flutter created gesture recognition technology that allow the user to control apps with hand gestures.
Here’s something that perhaps you didn’t know about the Search Engine giant… they rent out goats! No word of a lie, they have about 200 of them to help trim down the weeds at Google HQ.
H is for Holomni
Another robotics acquisition for Google, Holomni are known for their development of robot wheels.
I is for ImageAmerica
An aerial photography business who provide satellite imagery at a low cost. $99 for square mile to be precise. 3 guesses what Google use this for!
J is for Jetpac
A photo/artificial intelligence startup responsible for a mobile app able to pull specific items out of a photo to generate city guides.
K is for Keyhole, Inc
A digital mapping software company acquired way back in 2004. Key elements of the technology still exist in Google Earth and Maps today.
L is for Launchpad Toys
The great story of a small toy company, partnering with the global powerhouse because of their pioneering child-friendly apps and technologies.
Now this one is pretty awesome. Makani are a company who produce lost-cost renewable energy through their airborne wind turbines. The kite system uses wind turbines mounted on the wings of a flying device!
N is for Nest Labs
A producer of self-learning, thermostats, smoke detectors and security systems to keep you safe and cosy at home.
O is for On2 Technologies
Costing Google $133m in 2009, their video compression company laid the groundwork for Google’s WebM video file format.
P is for Phonetic Arts
Another very cool one here, Phonetic Arts creates technology that can dissect your voice, piece it back together again, and create new sentences that sound like you. Surely this is dangerous in the wrong hands!
A company that created Word Lens, an incredibly useful app that can detect and translate foreign text.
R is for reCAPTCHA
Stop the bot! reCAPTCHA, a well-known website security feature uses images of words to decipher whether a human or a robot is attempting a submission.
A $500m acquisition in 2014, Skybox provided hi-res satellite imagery and video of planet Earth. They say their satellites could help us understand our world better, through analysis of how people and goods move.
T is for Tilt Brush
Creators of a virtual reality tool that paints in 3D.
U is for Upstartle
An early acquisition in 2005, Upstartle is one of two technologies that helped form Google Docs as we know it today. Essentially, it’s a program for edible content within browsers.
V is for Viewdle
A Ukrainian company that makes facial recognition software and can automatically tag photos.
Google bought the Israeli company in 2013 for a whopping $966m. If you don’t already use Waze, it’s a sat nav app, with a social twist. Users can upload traffic information to share with others users in real-time.
X is ?
Opportunity alert! Google doesn’t currently own a company beginning with X.
What’s now the worlds 2nd biggest search engine, YouTube was bought back in 2006 for a staggering $1.65b. With over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute and over 1 billion users, it truly is one of Google’s biggest success stories.
Z is for Zagat
Zagat, a restaurant and hospitality review company with a rich history dating back to 1979. Google purchased it in 2011 for $151m and has since incorporated it into it’s Google+ platform.
So there you have it, 26 pretty awesome companies Google have purchased. Whatever the future holds, you can bet your house they’ll will be at the forefront of technology and innovation.