A History of Google Acquisitions and Where They Are Today

As most of you know, Google recently turned 10 years old. The powerful search engine has been growing its Internet empire through acquisitions and partnerships ever since it went public.  In this post, I’ll be going in depth about the companies Google acquired in the past and where are they now.

1. Deja.com (Price unknown, Date: February 12, 2001)

Google bought Deja.com in February 2001.  Deja News Research was a forum based on Usenet that started in 1995.  Steve Madere started Deja News in Austin, TX and Google wanted it because of it’s searching capabilities.  Deja News could search across all of their archived newsgroups.  Results were found immediately.  However, some of the material submitted to Deja.com included that from The Church of Scientology so the company found themselves facing a couple of lawsuits.

In 1999, Deja.com shifted their business model to focus on shopping comparison.  The archived messages did not become available to their users any longer.  Then one year later, the company was in financial distress so they sold the shopping service to eBay’s Half.com and the archives to Google.  Google took the archives from Deja and integrated it into Google Groups.

“We welcome Deja’s loyal users into the growing community of Google users worldwide,” stated Larry Page in a press release from 2001.  Page was CEO of Google in 2001 when they acquired Deja.com. “With more than 500 million individual messages and growing fast, Usenet and its thriving community is one of the most active and valuable information sources on the Internet.”

Deja.com redirects to Google Groups and is blocked from Archive.org.

2. Outride (Price: unknown, Date: September 20, 2001)

Outride was a spin-off from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).  Outride specialized in online information retrieval.  Through the acquisition, Google bought the I.P., the patent rights, source code, trademarks, and domain names from them.  Using the technology from Outride, Google created iGoogle in May 2005.  iGoogle is an AJAX-based starting homepage where users can aggregate RSS feeds and Google Gadgets.

Below is a screenshot from April 2001 of what Outride’s homepage looked like:

Outride had 2 products created at the time: Outride Search Service and Outride Communications Service.  The technology platform created by Outride was called Outride Relevance Builder and Outride Relevance Miner.  Outride Search Service provided search results based on user interests and demographics.  This data was collected by their search habits.  Outride Communications Services was a Web-based community platform that harvests hyperlinks from emails, calendars, communication apps, and other groupware.

“This acquisition is another example of Google’s commitment to providing the highest quality search service in the world,” stated Larry Page.  Page was the President of Products at the time of the acquisition. “Outride has made significant advances in the field of relevance technology and we believe Google provides the ideal vehicle to continue the development of these technologies.”

The Outride.net domain name is no longer online, but screenshots of the old site are available on archive.org.

3. Pyra Labs (Price: unknown, Date: February 16, 2003)

Pyra Labs was created by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan.  The first product made by Pyra Labs was called Pyra and it was a web application that focused on project and contact management.  Then they scrapped that model in 1999 and renamed Pyra to Blogger.  Blogger was made available in August 1999.  Paul Bausch and Matthew Haughey coded most of Blogger.  Blogger did not have a revenue model at the time and the service was free.

Blogger eventually ran out of seed money and the employees started working for free.  Evan Williams watched his employees eventually walk out on the company, which included co-founder Meg Hourihan.  Williams continued to work on Blogger alone, but then Trellix invested money into the company.  Dan Bricklin, founder of Trellix believed that Blogger had potential.

After the funding came in, Blogger set up an advertising-supported domain hosting Blog URL: blogspot.com.  Blogger Pro was a paid version.  In 2002, Blogger started licensing Blogger technology to media companies.  This caught Google’s eye and they bought out the company in 2003.  When Google bought out Blogger, the company had 6 employees.  This includes Evan Williams and Jason Goldman.  In 2004, Williams left Google and co-founded Obvious Corporation and Odeo.  And Goldman left in 2006.  Now Obvious Corporation owns Twitter and Odeo.

Blogger is still very much alive and so is the domain name, blogspot.com.  The problem with blogspot.com is that given it’s seamlessness in creating free weblogs, spammers have been taking advantage of the service.

4. Neotonic Software (Price: unknown, Date: April 22, 2003)

Neotonic Software was a CRM software company.  Before the acquisition took place, Neotonic created software called Trakken 2.0.  Trakken was an e-mail customer service software package that included power virus and spam filters.  Trakken was also built for handling email bursts of over 15,000 messages per hour.  Neotonic was based in San Francisco, Calif. and their clients included Google, Ex Impact Technologies, and Butterfield Auctioneers.

Google bought Neotonic in April 2003 and rolled Trakken into Google Groups and GMail.  If you are wondering how GMail’s spam filter does a great job?  Neotronic is probably one of the possibilities.  In the below screenshot you will also notice, “45 agents in 6 support groups at Google rely on Trakken to respond to 35,000 emails a week.  Trakken was founded by David Jeske and Brandon Long.  Prior to Neotonic, Jeske did the technical due diligence for eGroups.com when Yahoo! acquired them for $432 million.

5. Applied Semantics (Price: $102 million, Date: April 23, 2003)

Around the same time that Google bought Neotonic, Google also bought Applied Semantics.  Applied Semantics invented AdSense and KeywordSense.  Applied Semantics is based on WordNet technology.  WordNet was invented by psychology professor George A. Miller at the Cognitive Science Lab at Princeton University.  WordNet had $3 million in funding from government agencies that were interested in WordNet for it’s machine translation.  WordNet groups words based on semantic relations with synonyms.

Applied Semantics also based their software on Simpli as well.  Simpli was a search engine company that was started by Miller that utilized WordNet.  Simpli would suggest search terms that were related to what another user searched for.  Other founders of Simpli included Jeff Stibel, David Landan, John Santini, Andrew Duchon, Paul Allopenna, James A. Anderson, Steve Reiss, and Dan Ariely.  Simpli sold to NetZero in 2000.

Before the name Applied Semantics, the company was called Oingo in 1998.  The renaming of Oingo to Applied Semantics happened in 2001 and was started by Gilad Elbaz and Adam Weissman.  Google bought out Applied Semantics in April 2003 for $102 million.  AppliedSemantics.com is still online and it links to a press release.

“Applied Semantics is a proven innovator in semantic text processing and online advertising,” stated Google co-founder Sergey Brin.  Brin was president of Technology at Google at the time of the acquisition. “This acquisition will enable Google to create new technologies that make online advertising more useful to users, publishers, and advertisers alike.”

Brin was right.  Applied Semantics was probably Google’s most synergistic and wisest acquisition.  Google AdSense is the search engine company’s cash cow.  Applied Semantics team remained in Santa Monica and Google established a SoCal product development center there.

Three months after Google acquired Applied Semantics, Yahoo! bought out Overture for $1.63 billion in July 2003.  That same summer, Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel offered to buyout Google for $3 billion, but the Google founders turned it down.  It was a good move for Google.  Applied Semantics’ technology is still powering AdSense and AdWords.

6. Kaltix (Price: unknown, Date: September 30, 2003)

Kaltix Corporation started in June 2003 and created personalized and contextual search technologies.  Kaltix was a Palo Alto, Calif.-based stealth company at the time and started at Stanford University.  The founders of the company were trying to find ways to specifically one-up PageRank.  The founders of Kaltix were Taher Haveliwala, Glen Jeh and Sepandar Kamvar.  Kamvar helped Google build and engineer iGoogle.

Kamvar went on to become a consulting professor at Stanford in the subject of Computational Mathematics.  One of the classes that Kamvar still teachers is Computational Methods in Data Mining.  Kamvar also runs a fashion company called Distilled Clothing.

“Google and Kaltix share a common commitment to developing innovative search technologies that make finding information faster, easier and more relevant,” stated Google co-founder Larry Page.  Google was also the president of Products at the time. “Kaltix is working on a number of compelling search technologies, and Google is the ideal vehicle for the continued development of these advancements.”

7. Sprinks (Formerly owned by PRIMEDIA, Price: unknown, Date: October 2003)

Google bought out Sprinks from PRIMEDIA.  PRIMEDIA was best known for acquiring About.com in 2000 for $690 million.  About.com was later sold to The New York Times for $410 million.  Sprink’s ads were distributed across the About.com network of sites.  Google AdWords ads replaced all of Sprink’s ads.  Sprink’s ads also appeared on CNET, Excite.com, Forbes.com, Mamma.com, Metacrawler at the time.  This acquisition gave Google AdWords instant spread.

Sprink’s core products were Contentsprinks (pay-for-performance ads), Directsprinks (ads on email newsletters), and Keywordsprinks (sponsored search placement).  At the time of the Sprinks acquisition, Google AdWords and Overture controlled 90% of the PPC market.  In the new agreement that Yahoo! and Google are agreeing upon, Microsoft’s counsel accused that Google would control 90% of the search-advertising market.

Nayden Naydenov is the current registration owner of the domain Sprinks.com.  The domain is also still registered to About.com, Inc. according to Alexa.  Below is a screenshot of Sprinks.com from Archive.org:

8. Genius Labs (Price: unknown, Date: October 7, 2003)

Google bought Genius Labs for one reason: Biz Stone.  Biz Stone is the co-founder of Twitter.  Stone also helped created and launch Xanga, Blogger, Odeo, and Obvious Corporation.  Stone joined Google through the acquisition of Genius Labs, but left two years after to start Odeo.

9. Ignite Logic (Price: unknown, Date: May 10, 2004)

Ignite Logic, Inc. was a startup company that helped law firms and other small businesses setup websites.  Ignite was creating a WYSIWYG HTML editor for their product, but then Google bought them and integrated them into other Google products.  Ignite’s HTML editor most likely was rolled into Blogger and Google Page Creator.  Google acquired Ignite around the same time they decided to file for an IPO.

As a matter of fact, this clause was on the Google S-1 as pointed out by John Battelle.

“2003 Equity Incentive Plan
Our 2003 Equity Incentive Plan was assumed by us in connection with our acquisition of Ignite Logic, Inc. in April 2004.  At April 23, 2004, options to purchase a total of ___ shares of Class A common stock were outstanding under the 2003 Equity Incentive Plan at a weighted average exercise price of $28.86 per share.”

Below is a screenshot of Ignite Logic from back in the day.  The revolution was coming…

10. 2.6% of Baidu (Price: $10 million, Date: June 23, 2004)

Baidu is the biggest search engine in China right now.  Baidu indexes website links, audio, and images.  Baidu is ranked #19 on Alexa currently.  Baidu is currently indexing 740 million websites, 80 million images, 10 million audio files.  Baidu had an IPO on August 5, 2005.  Baidu currently trades at about $233 per American Depositary Receipt.  Baidu’s market cap is $8 billion.  With a market cap of $8 billion, that means 2.6% of Baidu is worth $208 million.  How bout them apples?

11. Picasa (Price: unknown, Date: July 13, 2004)

Picasa is a is Google’s photo sharing, managing, editing, and uploading software that was orginally created by Idealab.  The name, Picasa is a blend of the name of the Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso and “mi casa (my house in Spanish).”  The icon for Picasa resembles the aperture blades of a camera lens. After Google acquired Picasa, they began to offer it as a free download.

Idealab is a business incubation company based in Pasadena.  Some of the spin-offs made at Idealab includes InsiderPages, Citysearch (acquired by IAC), Commission Junction, Compete.com, NetZero, Goto.com (later renamed Overture and acquired by Yahoo!), eToys.com, and the domain .tv.  Idealab leases the .tv domain name to the island nation of Tuvalu (between Hawaii and Australia).  This gave Tuvalu enough money to join the U.N.  Idealab was started by Bill Gross in March 1996.

Google is making Picasa stronger and stronger.  Two years after the Picasa acquisition, Google acquired a photo recognition company that will be integrated into Picasa in the near future.  Picasa also has import features for Blogger.

12. ZipDash (Price: unknown, Date: September 2004)

Zipdash was an analysis tool that allowed anyone to search for traffic conditions on major highways in roads in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, and Phoenix.  The announcement was not made official, but it was discovered in a in a 10-K annual filing with the SEC.  Zipdash was based in Palo Alto, Calif. and used mobile phones with GPS receivers to gather the speed of travelers.

Before Google acquired Zipdash, the company was planning on adding traffic jams, accidents, and other bottlenecks.  Zipdash was started by Mark Crady, Michael Chu, and Diprenda Nigram.  Crady and Chu were electrical engineers that worked at Intel and Palm.  Below is a screenshot of Zipdash’s old website via Archive.org.  The big white box is due to Archive.org’s inability to archive queries.

The New York Times did a feature of Zipdash in March 2004, but did not make any mention of Google.  The acquisition was quite unexpected.  The team behind Zipdash helped build some of the features around Google Maps.

13. Where 2 Technologies (Price: unknown, Date: October 2004)

Where 2 Technologies was a mapping startup company based in Sydney, Australia.  The company was founded by Lars Rasmussen and Jens Rasmussen.  Up until July 2005, people that wanted to use Google Maps was required to download software.  Lars Rasmussen brought Google Maps to the browser which was HUGE for the company in taking on sites like MapQuest and Windows Live Maps.

Below is a video of Lars Rasmussen discussing the Google Maps API.  Lars Rasmussen works for the Google Sydney engineering office.  Lars Rasmussen received his PhD from Univ. of California-Berkeley.  This was Google’s first acquisition of an Australia-based company.

14. Keyhole, Inc. (Price: unknown, Date: October 27, 2004)

Keyhole Inc. was founded in 2001.  Keyhole was originally a spin-off from Intrinsic Graphics.  Keyhole was funded by Sony, NVIDIA, the CIA’s In-Q-Tel, Brian McClendon, and George T. Harber.  Keyhole’s flagship application was Earth Viewer, a product that has evolved into Google Earth.  The name Keyhole is named after the eye-in-the-sky military satellites.  Keyhole’s technology is plugged into Google Maps, Google Mobile, and Keyhole Markup Language (KML).

At the time of Google’s acquisition, Keyhole’s management includes John Hanke, Brian McClendon, Daniel Lederman, Bill Kilday, Noah Doyle, Andria Ruben, Thomas Gewecke, and Michael T. Jones.  Earth Viewer received more attention when CBS, ABC, and CNN used 3D fly-bys for showing terrain.

EarthViewer “grew out of a tradition of technology for flight simulators,” stated Hanke.

15. Urchin Software Corporation (Price: unknown, Date: March 28, 2005)

Urchin Software Corporation was a web analytics software company based in Southern California.  Urchin was started by Paul Muret and Scott Crosby in December 1995.  Urchin was originally called Web Depot and they built websites for Sharp Healthcare and Solar Turbines.  The company then become popular for processing large web server log files.  Urchin dropped the web hosting and development and focused on their analytics software.  The company was renamed to Quantified Systems, Inc.

Quantified’s clients included Rackspace, Winstar, Verio, Earthlink, and Cable & Wireless.  Quantified was close to raising a Series A round of funding, but 9/11 and several other factors prevented the funding from happening.  Quantified had to lay off 15 employees, close their office in Tokyo, and take out a loan from the original investors.

In 2002, Quantified created a CRM system and charged $5,000 per month for a physical data center.  In 2003, Quantified was renamed to Urchin.  And in 2004, Urchin repaid their angel investors.  In August 2004, Google approached Urchin for a partnership at the San Jose Search Engine Strategies Trade Show.  And 8 months later, Google acquired Urchin.

Urchin technology currently powers Google Analytics.  Google Analytics allows web publishers to track their hits, demographics, and many other features.  About 10 employees with Urchin are still working for Google as VPs, Managers, Directors, System Admins, and Software Engineers.  Before Google acquired Urchin, the analytics software company was used by over 1 million sites and was the standard for 20% of the Fortune 500.

16. Dodgeball (Price: unknown, Date: May 12, 2005)

Dodgeball was one of the most ambiguous acquisitions Google made.  After the acquisition, Valleywag reported that it was dead 2 years later because a 502 server error page showed up on Dodgeball.com at one point.  But declared it alive again.

Dodgeball is essentially a mobile geographic social network.  When logging in to Dodgeball, the user sends a text message to Dodgeball about where they are and Dodgeball notifies your friends.  Dodgeball will also do this for friends of friends.  Dodgeball will also do this for crushes.  Google accounts were integrated into Dodgeball in October 2006.

Dodgeball was integrated into Google SMS and Google Mobile.  Alex Rainert and Dennis Crowley, co-founders of Dodgeball quit Google in April 2007.

“It’s no real secret that Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us – especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space,” wrote Dennis on his Flickr account.  “And while it was a tough decision (and really disappointing) to walk away from dodgeball, I’m actually looking forward to getting to work on other projects again.”

17. Reqwireless (Price: unknown, Date: July 2005)

Reqwireless partnered with Nokia, Cellmania, Motorola, Pinpoint, Handango, Sun Microsystems, Symbian, Sony Ericsson, Siemens mobile, Telus Mobility, Sunrise, and Optus to develop wireless applications and libraries for the J2ME platform.  Reqwireless is Google’s first and only acquisition in Canada thus far.  Reqwireless is based in Waterloo.

Reqwireless was rolled into Google Mobile and Google Android.  Reqwireless developed ways to view email and HTML for devices using J2ME.

18. Current Communications Group (Equity from investment: unknown, Price: unknown, Date: July 7, 2005)

Current Communications Group is a broadband company that powers Internet through power lines.  Google, Hearst, and Goldman Sachs invested $100 million into Current Comm Group in July 2005.  CURRENT has been alive and kicking since 2004.  Current uses a Smart Grid solution to increase efficiency for high-speed Internet, while reducing environmental impacts and electric usage.

Current has worked on building Smart Grids in Dallas, Boulder, and certain areas in Europe.  Current Communications is working closely with Xcel Energy on this project.

19. Android (Price: unknown, Date: August 17, 2005)

Google quietly acquired Android Inc. in August 2005 for an unknown price.  Android was 22 months old when Google bought them out and was based in Palo Alto, Calif.  Through the acquisition, Google brought the Android team in to work on the Google Android project.  Android will be releasing their first operating system this month.  Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android Inc. became the Director of Mobile Platforms at Google to oversee the project.

At his house in Silicon Valley, Rubin has a retinal scanner to control his house door.  If the scanner approves the retina, the door unlocks.  Rubin’s door is a robotic arm that takes a mallet and strikes a gong [NYT].  Google was working on Android quietly up until November 5, 2007 when Rubin wrote a title on the Google Blog entitled, “Where’s my Gphone?“  The blog post announced the creation of the Open Handset Alliance as well.

The blogosphere was debating whether Google would create an iPhone killer since early 2007.  It looks like it is coming into fruition now with the release of the Google Android this month.  Google Android will be open source.

20. Skia (Price: unknown, Date: November 1, 2005)

Google bought out Skia in November 2005 for an undisclosed price.  Skia was a technology company that provides 2D graphics to mobile devices, TVs, and other handhelds.  Skia’s first product was called SGL, a portable graphics engine that was capable of loading 2D graphics.  Google rolled these capabilities into Google Android.  Google also made the Skia Graphics Engine open source.

Skia was based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Skia is Greek for “shadow.” Google operates an office in Chapel Hill with 5 people.  Skia was started by Michael Reed.  After Google acquired Skia, they added one person on the Skia subsidiary staff.  How did a small software company in North Carolina get Google’s attention?  “We did business in the valley,” stated Reed. “Everybody eventually gets to talk to everybody. Google sort of looks at everybody.”

21. Akwan Information Technologies (Price: unknown, Date: November 17, 2005)

Akwan Information Technologies was a search engine based in Brazil.  Google made the announcement of the acquisition on the same day that they announced the opening of two Latin American operations.  The two operations are based in So Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City, Mexico.  Google planned on using these offices to reach additional advertising services and better the search experience in Latin America.

“The online environment in Latin America is changing rapidly with the infrastructure for high-speed Internet access expanding, and with it e-commerce,” stated Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, VP of Asia Pacific and Latin America operations at Google Inc. “Google’s Latin America teams will partner closely with businesses, advertisers and agencies throughout the region to enable them to capitalize on the significant opportunities this brings.”

Google’s clients in Latin America includes Wal-Mart Brazil, Dell Mexico, and Mercado Libre.  Google made Akwan Information Technologies into a research and development center in Brazil.

22. 5% of AOL (Price: $1 billion, Date: December 20, 2005)
AOL Logo
Google’s investment in AOL was for strategic purposes.  With Google dominating in search and AOL dominating in messaging, the synergy between both companies would work out nicely.  After this deal, Google powered AOL’s search engine and AOL made their IM software compatible with Google Talk.  Through this deal, Google powered some of the advertising on AOL.

“We’re very pleased to build significantly on our special relationship with Google in a way that will meaningfully strengthen AOL’s position in the fast-growing online advertising business and help drive more advertisers to its Web properties,” stated Time Warner Chairman Dick Parsons. “This agreement is key to fulfilling our commitment to realize the potential of AOL’s very large online audience. As digital technologies continue to drive industries together, the great value and opportunity inherent in Time Warner’s structure and array of premier businesses becomes increasingly clear. A critical piece of this strategic alliance will be our content, which we will be making more accessible to Google users.”

Some of the other outcomes of the deal includes AOL Marketplace white labeling Google AdSense, making AOL content more available through Google web crawling technologies, video collaboration, and providing AOL marketing credits.  Google is the only shareholder in AOL other than Time Warner.

Since then Time Warner is rumored to shop AOL around and Yahoo! might be one possible buyer.  The rumor indicates that Yahoo! might be interested for an acquisition of AOL for $5-$8 billion, but Time Warner is holding out for $10 billion.

23. Phatbits (Price: unknown, Date: December 27, 2005)

Phatbits.com was a widget company that was started by a former Software Development Lead at Microsoft.  The company was started by Geoffrey Elliot.  Google bought Phatbits because it had a widget engine.  The widget engine was instrumental in creating widget applications for Google Desktop.

Google made this acquisition 5 months after Yahoo! acquired Konfabulator.  Konfabulator was a Mac and Windows application that creates widgets too.  Google knew that they would face intense competition with Yahoo! when it comes to widgets.  They acted quickly in order to stay in the game.  I think Yahoo! widgets has a stronger market-share than Google when it comes to widgets though based on what I’ve observed.  I just see more people with Yahoo! widgets than Google Desktop.

After the acquisition, Elliot worked at Google as a software engineer but has stepped down since.  According to Elliot’s LinkedIn profile, he is currently an Entrepreneur in the Greater Seattle Area.  Below is a screenshot of the old Phatbits page:

24 and 25. allPAY GmbH and bruNET GmbH (Price: unknown, Date: December 31, 2005)

I was unable to find any information regarding these two German companies except that they were rolled into Google Mobile.  The only reason why they are heard of is because of a 10-K filing with the SEC.  Otherwise there isn’t any information about them online anywhere.

26. dMarc Broadcasting (Price: $102 million, Date: January 17, 2006)

dMarc Broadcasting is a Newport, California based radio broadcasting company.  dMarc specializes in connecting advertisers to radio stations using their automated advertising platform.  The platform makes the sales process, scheduling , delivery and reporting of the advertising efficient.  After advertisers buy the air-time, then they can track the campaigns on dMarc’s platform. 

Google rolled dMarc’s platform into AdWords Audio Ads.  AdWords Audio Ads supports “top ten” stations in 25 major cities.  Currently there is support for 1,600 FM and AM radio stations and Google Audio Ads can guarantee inventory during standard dayparts, not those late night infomercials.

“Google is committed to exploring new ways to extend targeted, measurable advertising to other forms of media,” stated Tim Armstrong, VP of Advertising Sales, Google. “We anticipate that this acquisition will bring new ad dollars and accountability to radio by combining Google’s expansive network of advertisers with dMarc’s talented team and innovative radio advertising technology. We look forward to working together to continue to grow and improve the ecosystem of the radio industry.”

Google acquired all of the outstanding equity interests in dMarc for $102 million.  And Google stated that they would make additional contingent payments over the next 3 years assuming whether certain revenue and inventory targets are met.  The maximum amount of the contingent payments may amount to $1.136 billion.

27. Measure Map (Price: unknown, Date: February 14, 2006)

Measure Map is still online on MeasureMap.com.  Measure Map provides stats for bloggers.  Jeffrey Veen, founder of Measure Map started his company one year and two months before the Google acquired it.  Prior to starting Measure Map, Veen was a Director of User Experience at Lycos Inc. and Managing Editor at South Coast Community Newspapers.  Veen is no longer a User Experience Manager at Google, but he is now a Founding Partner at Adaptive Path.

Measure Map technology was rolled into Google Analytics.  This was the second company that Google bought for developing their Analytics product. Urchin being the first.

“Bringing Measure Map to Google is an exciting validation of the user experience work I’ve been doing with my partners at Adaptive Path for years,” wrote Veen on The Google Blog. “By opening up the app to more bloggers through Google, we hope to help even more people become passionate about their blogs.”

28. Upstartle (Price: unknown, Date: March 9, 2006)

Google’s acquisition of Upstartle indicated that Google is ready to take on Microsoft Office and bring applications online.  Upstartle’s first product was called Writely, an online word processor.  Writely was created as a software-as-a-service model.  Upstartle was founded by Claudia Carpenter, Sam Schillace, and Steve Newman.

Writely was integrated into Google’s product, Google Docs & Spreadsheets for online document collaboration.  The Upstartle and Writely website is now shut down and redirects to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.  Writely is blocked from Archive.org.  All previous Writely users are forwarded to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Carpenter is now a software engineer at Google.  Sam Schillace is an Engineering Director at Google.  Jennifer Mazzon, former VP of Marketing at Upstartle is now a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Google.  And Steve Newman is staying low-key about what he is doing next after Upstartle.

29. @Last Software (Price: unknown, Date: March 14, 2006)

Google acquired @Last Software for their 3D modeling software.  Google Sketchup is used to create, modify, and share 3D models and buildings.  This software was made to be useful for civil engineers and architects.  The features from @Last Software was also integrated into Google Maps and Google Earth.

@Last Software attracted by Google because they made a plugin for Google Earth before they were acquired.  @Last Software is based in Boulder, Colorado.  “We got to know a bunch of Googlers while we were building the Google Earth plug-in for SketchUp, and it quickly became apparent that we could really stir things up together,” stated a @Last Software press release.

Google SketchUp is now a free download.  SketchUp also has APIs for third party developers to create plugins.  @Last Software was founded by Brad Schell.  Other employees of @Last started working for Google after the acquisition including Jeff Martin and Aidan Chopra.  Schell left Google in March 2007 to take some time off from work and spend time hiking and windsurfing.

30. Orion (Price: unknown, Date: April 9, 2006)

Ori Allon was a 26 year old PhD student when Google decided to buy out his search engine, Orion.  Allon was a student at the University of New South Wales.  Orion’s search technology was unorthodox because it would find terms that are strongly related to search terms entered by users.  This method was even praised by Bill Gates himself.

Microsoft and Yahoo! were also supposedly in a bidding war for the patented technology behind Orion.  Eventually Google triumphed and Allon was relocated to Mountain View.  Allon is still a full-time student at the University of New South Wales.  Allon is continuing to work on the Orion algorithm with Dr. Eric Martin.

31. 2Web Technologies (Price: unknown, Date: June 1, 2006)

2Web Technologies was acquired by Google to expand upon their efforts to take on Microsoft Office.  Jonathan Rochelle, co-founder of 2Web is now a Product Manager of Google Docs & Spreadsheets at the New York office of Google.

Jonathan Rochelle was in the World Trade Center building on 9/11 and escaped the collapse of the building.  The whole story is on his blog.  It is by far the one of the most emotional blog posts I’ve ever read.  The blog post is very real and this is why I could see myself reading it again and again.  As a professional blogger, I sometimes get caught up about all things business-related to the point that reality becomes less of a priority for me.

32. Neven Vision (Price: unknown, Date: August 15, 2006)

Google acquired Neven Vision for biometrics purposes.  Neven Vision specializes on face and image recognition.

“Neven Vision comes to Google with deep technology and expertise around automatically extracting information from a photo. It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects,” stated Adrian Graham, Picasa Product Manager. “This technology just may make it a lot easier for you to organize and find the photos you care about. We don’t have any specific features to show off today, but we’re looking forward to having more to share with you soon.”

Through the acquisition, Google attained several patents which includes:

* EP1072018 : Wavelet-Based Facial Motion Capture for Avatar Animation
* 1072014 Face Recognition from Video Images
* EP1072018 Wavelet-Based Facial Motion Capture for Avatar Animation
* 218457 Face Recognition from Video Images
* 218458 Wavelet-Based Facial Motion Capture for Avatar Animation
* EP1072018 Wavelet-Based Facial Motion Capture for Avatar Animation
* 1072014 Face Recognition from Video Images
* 6714661 Method & System for Customizing Facial Feature Tracking Using Precise Landmark
* 6222939 Labeled Bunch Graphs for Image Analysis (EYEM1160/ NE01)
* 6356659 Labeled Bunch Graphs for Image Analysis
* 6563950 Labeled Bunch Graphs for Image Analysis
* 6466695 Procedure for Automatic Analysis of Images & Image Sequences Based on Two Dimensional Shape Primitives
* 6272231 Wavelet-Based Facial Motion Capture for Avatar Animation
* 6580811 Wavelet-Based Facial Motion Capture for Avatar Animation
* 6301370 Face Recognition from Video Images

Neven Vision’s website is no longer online.  But below is a screenshot of their website before the acquisition:


33. YouTube
(Price: $1.65 billion, Date: August 15, 2006)


YouTube was Google’s most revolutionary acquisition of all-time, hands down.  YouTube is the world’s biggest video sharing and uploading website.  YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steven Chen, and Jawed Karim.  The three of them worked at PayPal together.

Hurley and Chen are still running the show at YouTube, but Karim decided to finish his degree at Stanford $64 million richer.  Karim also decided to become an angel investor too.  Given the amount of bandwidth and maintenance required for YouTube, the company is still not profitable, but Google is optimistic about the company.

The price for an ad on the YouTube homepage is $175,000 per day with a $50,000 commitment to buy other Google and YouTube ads elsewhere.  Branded channels cost advertisers $200,000.  Below is the video that Hurley and Chen made after the acquisition:

Michael Arrington broke the news about the acquisition before any other media outlets.  This helped propel him into instant blog stardom.

34. JotSpot (Price: unknown, Date: October 31, 2006)

JotSpot is a web application company that was rolled into Google Sites.  JotSpot is now being used to create free collaborative websites through the use of Google Apps.  JotSpot helps users create wiki-style sites where users can post videos, calendars, text, images, and other multimedia.

of Products at JotSpot and current Google Senior Product Manager wrote about the migration of JotSpot into Google here.  JotSpot was founded by Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer.  Spencer and Kraus are both founders of Excite.com.  Krausis now heavily involved on the Google OpenSocial project.

35. Endoxon (Price: $28 million, Date: December 16, 2006)

Endoxon is a Switzerland-based mapping company whose product was rolled into Google Maps and Google Earth.  Endoxon provides the maps to European countries for Google Maps.  Endoxon has 75 employees and have created products that include high-res aerial maps, satellite images, and other mobile services.

Endoxon also creates AJAX mapping technologies for integrating the geographic data on the web.  Endoxon’s subsidiaries were rolled into a new company called Mappulus AG.  The announcement was made official by John Hanke, Director of Google Earth & Maps.

Stefan and Bruno Muff founded Endoxon.  A large number of the employees of Endoxon are still with Google working as Software Engineers, Managers, and VPs.

36. 4% of Xunlei (Price: $5 million, Date: January 4, 2007)

Xunlei is a Chinese file sharing website that supports BitTorrent, FTP, eDonkey, etc.  Xunlei was developed by Thunder Networking Technologies and is based in the southern province of Shenzhen.  Xunlei also developed a download accelerator which has been downloaded 80 million times.  Xunlei.com is visited over 50 million times per day.

Xunlei’s search technology is now powered by Google.  Google’s market precense in China is overshadowed by Baidu.com.  Xunlei has over 120 million users and was started by Zou Shenglong and Cheng Hao.  Both Hao and Shenglong graduated from Duke University.  Zou Shenglong and Cheng Hao both have a Master’s in Computer Science according to Morningside Ventures.  Morningside is also an investor in Xunlei.

Xunlei also has $45 million in funding from IDG VC Partners.

37. AdScape (Price: $23 million, Date: February 16, 2007)

Google acquired Adscape for one reason– to build an advertising platform around video games.  Adscape created an in-game advertising platform out of their office in San Francisco, Calif.  Google had already been in discussion with members of the game development community with hopes to partner with them for an advertising partnership.

Adscape launched in February 2006 with $3.2 million in funding from HIG Ventures (VC firm based in Atlanta).  Several of Adscape’s members may have moved to Mountain View which may have included CTO Dan Willis, Chairman Bernie Stolar, and VP of Marketing Eva Woo according to Red Herring.  Adscape was founded by Dan Willis.  Adscape was rolled into Google AdSense.

38. Trendalyzer (Price: unknown, Date: March 16, 2007)

Trendalyzer is a statistical software program that is based in Sweden.  Trendalyzer was rolled into Google Analytics.  Trendalyzer was created out of Han Rosling’s Gapminder Foundation.  The Gapminder Foundation is an incubation company.

Trendalyzer was a Flash application that preloaded statistical and historical data about world developments.  Since the acquisition, Google has made the Motion Chart gadget available as a free download as part of the Google Visualizations API available on Google Code.

39. DoubleClick (Price: $3.1 billion, Date: April 13, 2007)

DoubleClick has been Google’s most expensive acquisition.  DoubleClick develops Internet ads for Fortune 500 companies and is based in New York City.  Before the acquisition, DoubleClick was a public company that was purchased by a private equity firm.

Prior to becoming DoubleClick, the company was called Internet Advertising Network (IAN) and was founded by Kevin O’Connor and Dwight Merriman in 1995.  The company was renamed to DoubleClick after Poppe-Tyson bought out IAN in 1996.  At Poppe-Dyson, DoubleClick developed their DART service.  DoubleClick then merged with Abacus Direct for $1.7 billion.  DoubleClick was discovered to being used by Abacus to track personal information about web surfers.

DoubleClick dropped all integration services with Abacus and became a privacy advocate.  Private equity firm, Hellman and Friedman bought Abacus.  Abacus was then sold to Epsilon Interactive.  And Google bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion cash in April 2007.  The EU investigated the acquisition up until March 11, 2008.  And on April 2, 2008 Google had to cut 300 people from DoubleClick.

This acquisition stirred the Microsoft beehive.  One month after the DoubleClick acquisition, Microsoft acquired aQuantive for $6 billion.

40. Tonic Systems (Price: unknown, Date: April 17, 2007)

Tonic Systems is the online version competitor of Microsoft PowerPoint. This was the third application software Google needed to take on Microsoft’s big 3 primary Office products.  Tonic Systems is based in San Francisco and created the presentation automation products using Java.  Tonic’s products included Tonic Systems Builder, Tonic Systems Filter, Tonic Systems Transformer, Tonic Systems Viewer, and Jar Jar Links.

Sam Schillace, the founder of Upstartle announced the acquisition on The Google Blog.  Presentations can now be created in Google Docs thanks to the Tonic acquisition.  Below is a screenshot of Tonic’s homepage before they were acquired.  I was unable to find information about Tonic’s founders.  Tonic’s consultant before the deal was Catapult Advisors.

41. Marratech (Price: unknown, Date: April 19, 2007)

Marratech was a strategic acquisition to enhance the features of Google Talk.  Marratech is a Swedish company that created videoconferencing software.  Marratech was a spin-off company from the Centre for Distance-Spanning Technology at the Luleå University of Technology.  The founders of Marratech include Dr. Dick Schefström, Dr. Peter Parnes, Johnny Widén, Dr. Kåre Synnes, Mikael Börjeson, Magnus Hedberg, Serge Lachapelle and Claes Ågren [Wikipedia].

Most of the engineers and employees of Marratech joined Google after the acquisition.  Marratech’s technology will most likely be used for enterprise services as video plugins for Google Talk have already been created.  Google acquired the technology behind the company, but not the whole company itself.

42. GreenBorder (Price: unknown, Date: May 11, 2007)

GreenBorder was the first strategic acquisition made for Google Chrome, the web browser.  GreenBorder created safe zones for Internet users.  GreenBorder created virtual machines where simple tasks like checking e-mail or reading the news can be done without exposure to spyware and viruses.  These “sandboxes” were rolled into the private option for Chrome and for the individual tabs of Google Chrome.

GreenBorder started in Mountain View, Calif., making the transition into Google a lot easier.  On the day that Google acquired GreenBorder, they stopped accepting new customers for the security services.  Vlad Dabija, co-founder and former CEO of GreenBorder is now at Ignite IP.

43. GreenBorder (Price: unknown, Date: May 11, 2007)

Panoramio is a geolocation photo-sharing service.  The site is still online, but it redirects to Google Maps and Blogger.  The site is also accessible on Google Earth.  Panoramio was started by Joaquín Cuenca Abela and Eduardo Manchón Aguilar.  Panoramio started in summer 2005 and had 5 million photo uploads submitted within 2-3 years.

Panoramio photos utilizes tagged clouds for the images.  This past May, Panoramio was attacked by a massive spam attack.  Both Joaquín Cuenca Abela and Eduardo Manchón Aguilar are currently software engineers at Google.

44. FeedBurner (Price: $100 million, Date: June 1, 2007)

With the growing popularity of RSS feeds, it was often times difficult for Google to make money from those who use readers.  This was the case up until Google bought FeedBurner for $100 million.  FeedBurner launched in 2004 and is especially known for their FeedSmith plugin.  This enables bloggers and publishers to track the demographics of their RSS subscribers.

Around the time that FeedBurner was acquired, they had over 600,000 publishers using their service along with over 150,000 podcasters.  The migration of FeedBurner to Google is not complete yet as pointed out by ReadWriteWeb.

FeedBurner was founded by Dick Costolo, Eric Lunt, Steve Olechowski, and Matt Shobe.  Costolo is now an investor in Twitter and a Group Product Manager at Google.  Eric Lunt is also a Manager at Google.
Steve Olechowski is a Business Product Manager of Google AdSense. And Matt Shobe is a User Experience Designer.

45. PeakStream (Price: unknown, Date: June 5, 2007)

PeakStream is a software company based in San Mateo, Calif.  The company was founded by Matthew Papakipos and Asher Waldfogel.  Matthew Papakipos is now an Engineering Director at Google and Asher Waldfogel is now a Consultant and Angel Investor at Independent Investor.

PeakStream is known for it’s parallel computing power.  “PeakStream had developed tools that improve the performance of single-threaded applications on multi-core chips,” wrote The Register editor Ashlee Vance.  “Such tools should prove useful to coders who don’t want to deal with complex, parallel code but do want to take advantage of performance gains delivered via products such as GPGPUs (general purpose GPUs) from Nvidia and AMD/ATI and even multi-core x86 processors.”

46. Zenter (Price: unknown, Date: June 19, 2007)

Zenter was acquired in order to enhance presentations on Google Docs.  Sam Schillace announced the acquisition on The Google Blog.  Zenter is known for their presentation-sharing abilities, thus complementing the acquisition of Tonic Systems.  The company was still in stealth mode while Google bought them out.

Zenter was founded by Robby Walker and Wayne Crosby.  Zenter was one of the first Y-Combinator companies that Google bought out. Crosby is now a Software Engineer at Google and a General Partner at Mixin Capital.  Walker is also a Software Engineer at Google.

47. GrandCentral
(Price: $45 million, Date: July 2, 2007)

GrandCentral is a VoIP service that Google bought for $45 million.  GrandCentral was founded by Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet.  Both of them had started Dialpad in the past.  Dialpad was sold to Yahoo! for $20 million.

When certain phone numbers call the GrandCentral number, it can be forwarded to an office or cellphone based.  GrandCentral also offers voicemail services.  GrandCentral is still being integrated into Google’s Mobile services.

Walker is a Senior Product Manager of Voice Products at Google.  And Vincent Paquet is a Senior Product Manager at Google.

48. Postini (Price: $625 million, Date: July 9, 2007)

Postini is an e-mail security company that was acquired by Google in July 2007 for $625 million.  Postini was based in San Carlos, Calif.  Postini was rolled into GMail to provide enhanced e-mail and spam filters.

“With the addition of Postini, our apps can streamline the complex information security mandates within organizations,” stated Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.

Postini was founded by Scott Petry in 1999. The company had estimated sales of over $33 million in 2007.

49. ImageAmerica (Price: unknown, Date: July 20, 2007)

ImageAmerica is an aerial photography company that was acquired by Google to have rolled into Google Earth and Google Maps.  ImageAmerica became famous after creating black and white photos of the devastation that occurred in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  ImageAmerica started in 1998 and is based in Clayton, MO.

The announcement was made official by Stephen Chau, Product Manager at Google.  There is limited information about the founders of ImageAmerica.

50. Zingku (Price: unknown, Date Sept 2007)

Zingku is a mobile social network. The company launched in 2005 as a mobile service that lets people exchange and share ideas. It’s mobile platform runs on a pure text massaging system so  no software installation is required.

The company was founded by Sami Shalabi and Mussie Shore.

The primary catch behind Zingku is that it integrates your phone with a personalized homepage. I have no idea what Google plans to do with the company. The acquisition was most likely for a very small amount.

51. Jaiku (Price: unknown, Date Oct 9, 2007)

Jaiku is a microblogging service like Twitter. It was founded by Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen in 2006. The company was started in Finland.

Jaiku lets users share their activity streams with friends. Users can add to their stream via the Web, IM, and SMS. The site is still in closed beta.

52. Begun (Price: $140 Million, Date July 18, 2008)

Begun is a six year old Russian contextual ad company. Begun is one of the largest online ad providers in a rapidly growing Russian market.

Google primarily acquired Begun for market share.

53. Omnisio(Price: $15 Million, Date July 30, 2008)

Omnisio is a very cool interactive video startup. It’s a Y-Combinator backed company founded by Ryan Junee, Julian Frumar, and Simon Ratner. Users can share annotate videos on the site. One of the best features of the site is the ability to syncronize PowerPoint slides to a video.

Google most likely purchased the company for the talent. They plan to incorporate the company’s technology into YouTube.

54. TNC(Price: Price: unknown, Date Sept 12, 2008)

TNC iS a Korean blogging platform company founded by Chang Kim. Google’s search engine is not a market leader in Korea. Naver takes the cake for top search engine in the country. Therefore, Google needs a stronger presence in Korea.

TNC is the company behind Textcube, a WordPress-like bloggine engine. WordPress is largely unknown in Korea.

A History of Google Acquisitions and Where They Are Today Comments

  1. KSea says:

    You missed one regarding Google’s new newspaper archive product. Here’s a link and a quote from one of the comments:

    http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=50719

    Barbara–
    Just to set the record straight–PaperofRecord.com was secretly purchased by Google in 2006. Our first meetings for the vision of a five hundred year historical newspaper universe began in 2004. Most of the initial material on the Google New Archive website originates from Canada and is the legacy created by our team at Cold North Wind. As you may remember Cold North Wind was the first company to digitize an entire history of a newspaper with the Toronto Star from 1892 to the present. We’re proud to leave the legacy of our small company in the hands of Google.

    Best

    Bob Huggins
    Founder
    Cold North Wind/PaperofRecord.com

  2. BetterRetail says:

    Great post. Nice to see Google’s trail of acquisitions. I would say Google has the same success rate of a VC. Question is, is that good enough?

  3. Sudhanshu says:

    I’m a Software Engg.
    and like to say good luck;
    Good work by google,
    i wish a better future for Google Team

  4. JackNBrown says:

    Some of the tips are based on the observations of people switzerland clothing who have been trying to beat the principle used on lotteries, the law of chances.

  5. staffing321 says:

    Google most likely purchased the company for the talent. They plan to incorporate the company’s technology into YouTube.

    Find more jobs: http://www.staffingpower.com/

  6. stivali Ugg says:

    “overture”

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