August Acquisitions and Milestones
The dog days of August were anything but slow in the Web and technology industries, as companies maintained an ambitious pace of acquisitions and transactions despite the most volatile activity we’ve seen in global stock markets in the past three years. Below are some of the biggest deals and most memorable milestones to have occurred during the past month.
• Google, unsuccessful in its bid to acquire Groupon at the end of 2010, fortified its social shopping platform with the purchase of Dealmap. An online daily deals and coupons aggregating service, Dealmap is expected to be integrated into Google Offers, the company’s new location-based deals product.
• Groupon, meanwhile, announced its own acquisition of Ruby on Rails software development firm Obtiva. Both companies are based in Chicago, and the move was presumably made to bolster Groupon’s engineering staff with the local talent from Obtiva as Groupon readies itself for what will most likely be an historic IPO.
• Bitly, the popular URL-shortening service, acquired Twitterfeed, a startup that provides bloggers and publishers a way to feed their blogs and updates directly to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking services.
• Facebook also made a pair of intriguing acquisitions in purchasing interactive digital book publisher Push Pop Press and mobile group messaging startup Beluga in separate deals. Both deals bring new technologies to Facebook and speculation points to the long-awaited development of a Facebook iPad app.
• Domain registrar and Web hosting provider Network Solutions was acquired by Internet marketing firm Web.com for $405 million in cash and 18 million shares of common stock, sending the deal to a total value of more than $550 million. Earlier in the summer, the world’s largest registrar and hosting company, GoDaddy, was sold to three private equity firms for a total of $2.25 billion.
• InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile ad network, announced the acquisition of Sprout, whose HTML5 rich media creative platform helps agencies and brands reduce the complexity of rich media mobile ad creation and distribution. InMobi’s global presence combined with Sprout’s rich media technology should benefit the mobile advertising industry in building and distributing engaging rich media ads to consumers everywhere.