Exploring Google’s 2016 Acquisitions and What They Signal for 2017

Google’s varied investments last year leads us to predict that they will only continue to invest heavily this coming year. Their fast-paced growth is showing no signs of slowing, making them the first trillion dollar company on the stock market.

So, what does it mean to approach the trillion-dollar mark? For starters, it means massive growth in almost all areas.  In order to keep that growth up, Google has invested heavily in acquisitions, having purchased over 200 companies in the last 20 years.  All one needs to do to see how seriously Google takes acquisitions is look at the money they divert to incorporating new technologies – while most acquisitions are made for undisclosed amounts, Google’s top ten known acquisitions alone are valued at over $24.54 Billion.

While most acquisitions are undisclosed, Google's top 10 known ones are valued at over $24.54B Click To Tweet

Google, being Google, has the luxury of being able to dabble in almost every industry and make acquisitions in pretty much any and every vertical. Being as huge a force in the tech world as they are, each acquisition Google makes signals a shift in thought and serves as a possible prediction for future trends. Read below to learn about some of Google’s latest acquisitions and see what they signal startups and ISVs about the future of tech.

Music Fanatics: BandPage

Since purchasing YouTube in 2006 for a whopping $1.65 billion, Google has continually invested money in improving the video experience. Whether music videos, sports videos, or anything else, video is the medium and a powerful one at that.

In February 2016, Google announced the acquisition of BandPage, a platform that connects musicians directly to their fans and thinks of music as an experience itself. BandPage has over 500k musicians signed onto its platform who use it to get before their many fans.

What does this signal?

Since YouTube ads are one of the strongest revenue generation channels for Google, their emphasis on the customer experience of music fans is likely another way to bring artists back to YouTube and maximize profit potential from fan interactions with their favorite musicians.

With music subscription services rising in popularity (Google Music is now a big player in the field and there are rumors of a Spotify acquisition in 2017) startups in the music space with the right technology have a lot to look forward to.

Tutorial Junkies: Synergyse

The Canadian based Synergyse was founded by two ex-googlers with the sole purpose of offering Google App training services to Google users, making the May 2016 acquisition a logical one. The low pricing model of $10 per individual (free for students) is in line with the Google pricing model as well as its commitment to education and dedication to students. The tool enhances customers’ experiences on the various Google Apps such as Gmail, Drive, Docs and more.  

With a user base of over 4 million and more than 2 million paying businesses, it’s clear that Google is actively working on getting people onto their apps. They do this by offering premium tutorial services and allowing them to easily learn the various systems.

What does this signal?

The push for a better customer experience and the desire to offer more knowledge to the end user is shown by Synergyse’s 35% adoption rate of Google Apps among their users. Beyond signaling that Google is pushing their own apps and want to increase their user numbers, startups can see that tutorials are a powerful part of the experience and that there is room in the market for user friendly solutions that simplify existing, more complex ones.

Powerful APIs: Apigee

Another notable 2016 Google acquisition was the Apigee acquisition for $625 million. Apigee’s success is in thanks to their ability to help enterprise level customers build new products with open API’s, thus simplifying integration for end users.

Boasting an impressive customer list that includes Walgreens, Burberry and more, the integration of Apigee into the Google Cloud is going to simplify integration with Google products and open the market for quicker integrations with hundreds of additional third party providers.  

What does this signal?

The acquisition of Apigee, especially at such a high price point, signals a shift in emphasis from individual and small businesses to large enterprises and the growing importance of secure cloud services, a space that Amazon Web Services currently dominates. Large scale corporate clients looking to strengthen their products with accessible and open API solutions will immediately benefit from the acquisition. Additionally, increasing connectivity via secure APIs is a power move by Google as they try to regain market share.

Getting on Google’s Radar

With penchant for purchases and a significant budget behind them, it’s no wonder that startups and ISV’s constantly ask us how they can get on Google’s radar.

Our answer? Look at the current trends of recent purchases to understand where the market is going. Always remember that what all acquisitions have in common is that they simplify the way that products and services are used and enjoyed.

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