Quite a lot of main offers went down in acquisition city this 12 months, from Amazon’s $13.7 billion Whole Foods acquisition to Intel’s $15.3 billion deal to amass Mobileye.

And — as with 2016 and former years — the massive U.S. tech firms headed to Europe in quest of know-how and expertise. Here, we have a look again at 15 of these offers and what they meant for the buying firm.

Apple

Apple made 4 recognized acquisitions in Europe this 12 months, in comparison with only one final 12 months.

1. Beddit (Finland)

In May, information emerged that Apple had snapped up Finnish sleep-tracking /software program startup Beddit. Prior to the acquisition, Apple was already promoting Beddit’s sleep monitor via its personal retailer, and that seems to nonetheless be the case.

It’s not fully clear what Apple has in retailer for the Beddit know-how, however it’s not past the realm of chance that the corporate is cooking up some new sleep-tracking smarts for the Apple Watch, or maybe even constructing utterly new .

Above: Beddit

Image Credit: Beddit

2. SensoMotoric Instruments (Germany)

One month after the Beddit acquisition, experiences emerged in June 2017 that Germany eye-tracking software program firm SensoMotoric Instruments had been purchased by Apple. Little is understood concerning the deal, although Apple did present its boilerplate response when requested concerning the acquisition, just about confirming that the deal had taken place.

It was recognized that SensoMotoric Instruments had developed a variety of eye-tracking merchandise, masking sizzling rising traits akin to augmented actuality and in-car applied sciences, however the one actual proof of its prior work is thru an archived model of the corporate’s web site.

Put merely, we don’t have any actual details about what Apple has in retailer, past that it’ll be associated to laptop imaginative and prescient.

3. Regaind (France)

In September, TechCrunch reported that Apple had quietly acquired Regaind, the French startup behind a pc imaginative and prescient API that extracts “game-changing insights” from pictures, successfully serving to builders analyze and categorize pictures mechanically.

While Apple hasn’t revealed its plans for Regaind, it doesn’t take an enormous leap of creativeness to understand how Regaind’s smarts might be used to higher arrange iPhone customers’ pictures.

4. Shazam (U.Ok.)

As one of many stalwarts of music-recognition know-how, London-based Shazam ought to require little introduction.

Its large title and closely funded standing was partly why Apple needed to particularly affirm it had purchased the corporate earlier this month, slightly than issuing its common template response. True to kind, nevertheless, Apple didn’t actually say what it had in retailer for Shazam, except for correlating the service with Apple Music.

Apple reportedly purchased Shazam for simply $400 million, means beneath its anticipated $1.2 billion IPO value from a number of years earlier than, which suggests Shazam was struggling. But promoting to Apple isn’t any unhealthy final result from a standing perspective, even when the buyers might not have reclaimed each cent they plowed into Shazam over the previous 15 years.

Facebook

Facebook made only one European acquisition in 2017, in comparison with three final 12 months.

5.  Fayteq (Germany)

In August 2017, Facebook confirmed that it had purchased Fayteq, a German laptop imaginative and prescient startup that develops know-how for monitoring objects in movies, whereas permitting creators so as to add or take away gadgets throughout publish manufacturing for results.

Facebook has been going all-in on video and augmented actuality, so it’s not troublesome to see how the tech titan might use such know-how throughout its numerous apps and developer-focused instruments.

Alphabet / Google

Google headed east throughout the Atlantic for 2 acquisitions in 2017, double the variety of the earlier 12 months.

6. Limes Audio (Sweden)

Google kicked off the brand new 12 months by asserting in January that it was shopping for Limes Audio, a 10-year-old Swedish startup specializing in bettering the audio in voice communication techniques. Terms of the deal weren’t introduced.

It was actually a simple transaction. Google wished to enhance Hangouts and the enterprise-focused incarnation Chromebox for Meetings, so it purchased and shuttered Limes Audio to do exactly that.

7. AIMatter (Belarus) 

In August, Google headed to Belarus to snap up AIMatter, the startup behind the Fabby app that makes use of neural networks to rework pictures and movies in actual time.

Back in January, Google CEO Sundar Pichai famous that whereas AR, VR, and cloud applied sciences could be key aspects of the corporate’s progress, Google could be an “AI first” firm.

While Fabby is a enjoyable app that’s apparently nonetheless being up to date, Google is extra involved about beefing up its arsenal of laptop imaginative and prescient smarts. With the AIMatter crew on board, Google might put their abilities to any variety of makes use of throughout the AI spectrum. Computer imaginative and prescient provides machines “eyes,” an important element of many AI purposes.

Microsoft

Microsoft made only one European acquisition this 12 months, although it additionally headed to Israel to snap up Hexadite and Cloudyn.

8. Simplygon (Sweden)

Microsoft seemed to Sweden in January to purchase up Donya Labs, the corporate behind the Simplygon software program utilized by sport studios to enhance 3D content material.

Above: Simplygon.

Image Credit: Simplygon

The announcement got here shortly after Microsoft launched Paint 3D for customers to construct and edit 3D digital properties. This function was made accessible to everybody as a part of the Windows 10 Creators Update. And that, it appears, was why Microsoft wished the parents behind Simplygon.

“Simplygon’s know-how and expertise will strengthen our place in 3D creation, making it simpler to seize, create, and share in 3D,” stated Kudo Tsunoda, company vice chairman for next-gen experiences in Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, on the time.

Amazon

Amazon purchased two European startups in 2017, up from only one final 12 months.

9. GameSparks (Ireland) 

In July, Amazon acquired Ireland’s GameSparks, a cloud-based platform designed to assist sport builders construct the backend to their video games, together with options akin to leaderboards, in-game chat options, tournaments, and extra.

GameSparks already focused sport builders that use Amazon’s datacenters to host their titles, and the acquisition signaled Amazon’s intention to double down on its efforts within the $100 billion digital video games market.

10. Goo Technologies (Sweden)

This wasn’t a straight-out startup acquisition, however we’ll embody it anyway. Amazon seemingly purchased the belongings from bankrupt Swedish startup Goo Technologies and used it to launch Sumerian, a browser-based software for creating 3D, AR, and VR experiences.

AR and VR are large enterprise, whereas Amazon can be pushing forward with its aspirations for the gaming realm. But key to this acquisition is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Sumerian might assist enhance AWS as a key vacation spot for creating purposes sooner or later.

Snap

Fresh from its IPO, Snap turned its consideration to Europe to “snap” up two startups in 2017.

11. Zenly (France)

Snapchat’s dad or mum firm headed to France in June to make its most costly acquisition so far: $213 million for social mapping app Zenly. The deal solely got here to gentle when Snap launched Snap Map, which many seen gave the impression to be a clone of Zenly. There was, after all, good purpose for the resemblance.

Snap Map is mainly a method to see the place your mates are on this planet. You can zoom in or out on the Map to see the place they’re and what they’re doing, and you’ll share your individual location with buddies.

12. Strong.codes (Switzerland)

In July, Snap acquired the crew behind a Swiss startup known as Strong.codes, which creates instruments that assist defend in opposition to reverse-engineering code, making it tougher for would-be opponents to repeat an app or web site.

Facebook has a protracted observe document of copying Snapchat’s options, although it’s not clear whether or not this was a think about Snap’s choice to acqui-hire the crew behind Strong.codes.

Miscellaneous

A handful of different European tech firms had been purchased by big-name U.S. companies in 2017, together with Oracle, Fitbit, and Priceline.

13. Wercker (Netherlands)

In April, database know-how big Oracle snapped up Wercker, a Dutch startup that helps automate code testing and deployment.

As for Oracle’s plans, it stated that the duo would “democratize developer tooling for the fashionable cloud,” which successfully means Wercker’s know-how might be built-in into Oracle’s present developer-focused instruments and providers.

14. Vector Watch (U.Ok./Romania)

Fitness wearables firm Fitbit headed to Europe in January to snap up the software program platform behind U.Ok./Romania-based smartwatch firm Vector Watch. This got here shortly after Fitbit purchased the belongings of failed smartwatch firm Pebble.

It appears there merely had been (or are) too many smartwatch manufacturers on the market and never sufficient demand. Fitbit already had a robust presence within the wearables realm, and the assorted belongings it acquired from Vector Watch and Pebble might nicely have helped with its personal inaugural smartwatch that launched a number of months again.

15. Momondo (Denmark/U.Ok.)

Travel search big Priceline acquired Denmark/U.Ok.-based journey search platform Momondo for $550 million.

The deal was mainly a route for Priceline to broaden its presence in Europe, and Momondo’s numerous properties now function underneath Priceline’s Kayak division.

Trends

Though the main focus right here has been particularly on Europe, the varieties of firms that had been acquired by U.S. tech titans give us a great indication of the recent tech traits of the second, and maybe extra importantly, what abilities are in excessive demand.

It’s evident that laptop imaginative and prescient is an enormous development, as it is going to have many purposes sooner or later — from photo-categorization to self-driving vehicles. This clearly matches into the over-arching class that’s synthetic intelligence, which has been an rising development for a number of years now.

It’s clear that this can proceed to be a serious space of focus within the coming years, so you’ll be able to count on extra expertise and know-how grabs from the AI realm in 2018 and past.

This article sources info from VentureBeat