There is nothing more satisfying for startups, than established companies recognising them for performance and growth. To facilitate this recognition, money has never been lacking, especially in the form of acquisitions. Going by this tune here is taking a look at five of the largest tech acquisitions in the world!
1. Microsoft buys Skype for $ 8.5 billion
It was the year 2011 and Skype was entering the world of a technological revolutions. People were moving away from the traditional calling system to sophisticated platforms, with Skype setting the trail blazing. While not a lot of people thought Skype would succeed, Microsoft’s interest in the company cemented the fact Skype was here to stay. Incidentally, Skype was one of eBay’s first acquisitions in the year 2005. However, eBay could not create a market for itself in the industry and had to sell Skype. Skype is still going strong, but it has many more competitors these days in the form of messaging apps with built in voice calling features.
2. Google buys Motorola for $ 12.5 billion
In 2012, Google was primarily known for being one of the fastest search engines, while Motorola was an emerging name in the world of smartphones. When news came of the search engine wanting to take over this new smartphone company, people were skeptical. However, one of the major reasons this deal made it to the headlines was because Google not only acquired an emerging smartphone company, it also got the patent rights of Motorola! This acquisition was Google’s largest to date. However, despite promises, the search engine could not keep up with the growing trends and was forced to unload $ 2.9 billion from its initial investment. Can Google really keep up with the growing trends, or is it too much to expect from a seemingly strange acquisition such as this?
3. Walmart buys Flipkart for $ 16 billion
The Flipkart acquisition by Walmart was one of the most intriguing acquisitions in recent history. Flipkart was already an emerging e commerce platform, with its arms wide spread and reach constantly growing. Walmart, on the other hand had been looking at entering the Indian e commerce platform for a while and with Flipkart’s acceptance, the deal was made all the more sweeter! Post this deal, the e commerce world certainly took a completely different route in terms of change and growth!
4. Facebook buys WhatsApp for $ 19 billion
WhatsApp and Facebook on their own were strong forces in the field of technology and innovation. Built with the intention to connect people all over the world with ease, this acquisition was not out of the blue because, Facebook has a history of acquiring platforms that enhance its future growth. The $ 19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook marked a serious shift in industry trends. The 2014 deal, which could have cost the social media network up to $ 22 billion when all was said and done, netted it more than just a hugely popular internet based messaging app. Through the takeover, Facebook also got access to a data base of over 700 million users, marking this as one of the largest social media platform acquisitions in the world.
5. Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $ 26 billion
One of the most epic takeovers by Microsoft was that of LinkedIn. As a platform, LinkedIn was new, growing and entertaining. LinkedIn provided people in the know about where to look for jobs and how to look for them. However, being a relatively new entrant into the field, LinkedIn did not have the user base to connect with a large audience. With Microsoft, LinkedIn saw new light and new customers. At $ 26 billion, not only was this the third tech acquisition by Microsoft, it was THE largest investment made by Microsoft at that point.
Tech acquisitions are interesting. They make people want to explore, create and evolve, with an eye on the future. For more information on things happening in the tech world, do not forget to like, subscribe and comment!
Carl Pei’s Nothing Invites Retail Investors
Carl Pei said the time came for him to leave OnePlus and focus on other interests, following which he resigned from OnePlus in October 2020. Since then, Pei had been working on his new startup in the audio hardware sector. Carl Pei unveiled the name of his startup which is now called as Nothing, on January 27th, 2021. Since the unveiling of Nothing, Pei’s startup has attracted a lot of attention from Silicon Valley and venture capitalists.
Carl Pei now seems to be emulating his success formula at OnePlus with his new startup Nothing. OnePlus is highly customer centric, because as a company they take in inputs from their consumers and adapt them to their products. Pei seems to be using the same strategy with Nothing, as he invited retail investors to invest in his new startup. Normally a startup raises Series A funding to begin product development and then goes on to Series B and so on. For a normal retail investor to invest in a stock, they could only do it at the time of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) at the time of which the company would be valued highly. However, Carl Pei is letting in investors from the beginning.
Usually the community has to wait for an IPO to invest, but by that time, the valuation is already high. We are inviting you to own Nothing from the very beginning, at the same price as our Series A, and be on board for the entire ride.🚀 https://t.co/mnQtoiJwOV
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) February 16, 2021
This lets the investors be a part of the product development process and makes Nothing more personalised. Moreover the investors would also act as promoters for the products. Currently, there are $ 1.5 million worth of shares available. Users can invest a minimum of € 50 and a maximum of € 20,000. However, the demand to invest is off the charts and was unexpected as Carl Pei confirmed there was an interest worth of $ 10 million from 8,700 users.
WOW we have just reached $10m USD of registered interest in just 7 hours from over 8,700 people! So grateful for the amazing community behind @nothing ! 🥰🥰
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) February 16, 2021
Nothing’s first wireless earphones will be unveiled in the summer of 2021. Nothing aims to build an ecosystem of listening devices which talk to each other. Initial investors of Nothing include the likes of Tony Fadell (Principal at Future Shape and the Inventor of the iPod,) Casey Neistat (YouTuber,) Kevin Lin (Co founder of Twitch,) Steve Huffman (CEO of Reddit,) Liam Casey (Founder and CEO, PCH,) Paddy Cosgrave (Founder of Web Summit,) Kunal Shah (CEO of CRED) and Josh Buckley (CEO of Product Hunt.) Alphabet’s investment arm Google Ventures was the latest investor in Nothing as they invested $ 15 million.
Startup India Seed Fund To Be Disbursed From April 1st
There is no doubt India has a strong foothold in the startup ecosystem. India currently ranks third in the world for the number of startups, next only to the United States of America and China. This was possible due to the Indian Government’s initiatives to develop the startup ecosystem and also due to a strong presence of unicorn startups like PayTM, Zomato, Unacademy and many more.
The Government of India announced it would begin to disburse INR 945 crores seed capital from April 1st, 2021 under the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme in a bid to boost the startup ecosystem in India. These funds would be distributed through select incubator partners all over the country. This scheme will be implemented by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT.)
In a gazette notification, DPIIT announced that Startup India Seed Fund Scheme will provide financial assistance to startups that have been recognised by the DPIIT and incorporated not more than two years ago at the time of application.
— Anil Agrawal (@anilarch) January 29, 2021
The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme will have a common central application on the Startup India portal for startups on an ongoing basis. An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) will be formulated to oversee and monitor the overall execution of the scheme. The EAC will evaluate and select the incubators for allotment of the seed funds and place measures for the efficient disbursement of funds.
The government also mentioned preference will be given to startups working in the areas of agriculture, education, food processing, healthcare, social impact, waste management, water management, financial inclusion, biotechnology, energy, mobility, defence, space, railways, textiles and oil and gas.
CRED’s Kunal Shah Invests In One Plus Founder Carl Pei’s Startup
Carl Pei is one of the most well known names in the startup circles considering he gave the world one its best smartphone brands OnePlus. Since the debut of OnePlus One. The smartphone maker earned the moniker ‘flagship killer’ and has grown in leaps and bounds. Today OnePlus boasts on an impressive product line up apart from its smartphones and is one of the leading electronic brands in the world. In October 2020, Carl Pei said the time came for him to leave OnePlus and focus on other interests. Since then, Pei had been working on his new startup in the audio hardware sector.
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) October 16, 2020
The name of Carl Pei’s new startup will be unveiled on January 27th, 2021 but in the past three months the unnamed startup received almost $ 7 million in seed funding. The investors include Tony Fadell (Principal at Future Shape & Inventor of the iPod,) Casey Neistat (YouTuber,) Kevin Lin (Co-founder of Twitch,) Steve Huffman (CEO of Reddit,) Liam Casey (Founder and CEO, PCH,) Paddy Cosgrave (Founder of Web Summit) and Josh Buckley (CEO of Product Hunt.)
The latest to invest in Carl Pei’s startup is Indian based CRED founder Kunal Shah who invested an undisclosed amount. Shah is not new to being an angel investor as he already has a portfolio of investing in almost 80 startups. “Carl is working on a new consumer electronics company that I am sure will be a disruptor in the tech industry. I am excited to be part of this journey (sic,)” the CRED founder said in a statement.
While Pei’s startup is headquartered in London, more details will be known on January 27th, 2021.
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