Posts Tagged ‘Acquisition’

FCC approves AT&T’s acquisition of Leap Wireless, with some strings attached

AT&T’s buyout of Leap Wireless is clearly going more smoothly than its failed bid for T-Mobile. The FCC has just approved the Leap acquisition, leaving only the Department of Justice’s A-OK between AT&T and its dreams of additional spectrum. However,…

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Sprint + T-Mobile: What everyone else is saying about a possible acquisition

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son has been on a mission to purchase T-Mobile and merge it with the Now Network. His campaign began in secret, first involving several visits to regulators in Washington DC. In the past week, however, he’s become much more…

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Rumor: Brainwave-Sensing Startup InteraXon Was Approached By Google About An Acquisition

Toronto-based startup InteraXon, maker of the Muse brainwave-sensing headband, had a very interesting potential suitor, according to a source close to the startup speaking to TechCrunch. Specifically, Google came calling, but InteraXon isn’t necessarily interested in being acquired by the search giant, our source reports. A recent profile of InteraXon from the Financial Post provides a… Read More

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Basis In Acquisition Talks With Everyone

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 7.30.24 PM

Looks like Google might be ticking off a box on its wearables shopping list, or someone else might be. Basis Science, the company behind the Basis Health Tracker Watch, is on the market, according to two people familiar with the matter.

We’ve heard that the company has been shopping itself around over the past few weeks and has spoken to Google, Apple and possibly Samsung and Microsoft about a potential sale.

The price we’ve heard for any possible activity is “sub-hundred million,” which could mean a small return for investors like Norwest Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund and Intel Capital, who have poured over $ 30 million into the company.

The alternative to an acquisition for Basis would be a long-sought-after C round of funding, say those people.

Though its market share is unclear, the company would be an interesting buy for any of the big four mentioned above. Google, which recently scooped up “Internet of Things” darling Nest, is gunning to be the frontrunner in both the AI and hardware spaces. It is also said to be working on its own wristwatch as an entry into the consumer hardware market.

Apple, too, is rumored to be keeping an iWatch product waiting in the wings, while Samsung’s smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, has already hit the shelves, leaving much to be desired from a design perspective.

Microsoft would be the dark horse in this race, with only the Kinect to boast of from a wearables and hardware standpoint.

Of all the fitness trackers available currently, Basis is said to be the most accurate in its data collection and reporting, but the most clunky with regards to design. A generous parent company could give it the chance to experiment with a more-streamlined, Jawbone or Fitbit-esque product without it having to go through the pains of raising another round of capital to support R&D.

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Google-Nest Acquisition, Starbucks Security, Autobahn Apple Heist and More- Buffalo Bulletin

Buffalo Bulletin: Google-Nest Acquisition, Starbucks Security, Autobahn Apple Heist and More Welcome to a fresh new episode of Buffalo Bulletin. Today Ashley…

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Apple stepping into social with acquisition of Twitter analytics firm Topsy

Despite the number of acquisitions Apple has made over the year, the Cupertino company is not done buying up companies just yet. Indeed, Apple has just purchased Topsy, a company that specializes in Twitter analytics, for a reported $ 200 million. For …

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Pebble’s Eric Migicovsky Is Uninterested In A Potential Acquisition

When it comes to competition, Pebble has plenty to be concerned about. In an interview onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013, founder Eric Migicovsky seemed unconcerned about questions on competition from Apple and Samsung, claiming that Motorola and Sony have offered smartwatch products for quite some time.

However, speaking backstage, Migicovsky went a bit more in-depth with the latest products from Samsung and the idea of a forthcoming Apple iWatch, stating that Pebble would be pretty uninterested in the idea of an acquisition by the competition, should it be offered.

“In the Samsung Galaxy Gear presentation on stage, Samsung was really heavy on features for the watch but skirted how people actually use it every day,” said Migicovsky. “I use my watch on a daily basis, looking at upcoming weather forecast, with an app for Evernote, and an app on the phone to customize the watch with drag-and-drop functions that auto syncs to the watch.”

According to Migicovsky, Pebble is fortunate to have been working on wearable computing for years in the background, constantly iterating, as wearables heat up in general.

“We’re in a great position because we get to figure out what works first,” said Migicovsky.

That said, Migicovsky didn’t seem interested in the idea of an acquisition. For the record, Migicovsky claims that Pebble has never had an acquisition offer by Samsung or Apple or anyone else for that matter, but hypothetically speaking, it’s not something that piques his interest.

“We’re staying laser focused on the task of creating a platform that people can build on top of to communicate with wearables, and we won’t do anything that causes a distraction from that goal.”

But that doesn’t mean that there’s no new hardware in the pipeline. For now, Pebble is working on building the ecosystem around the product, like the companies building special bands or the developers building apps. Eventually, though, Migicovsky hinted that Pebble is looking at the other materials people wear on their wrists, perhaps hinting at a luxury model down the road.

After all, the Pebble is a sports watch.

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Despite Nokia acquisition, Microsoft claims it’s committed to Windows Phone partners

With everyone in the tech world fixated on Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s devices business, one question people are demanding the answer to is what Microsoft’s new integration will mean for its device partners. The official line at Microsoft is that it’s still eager to work with other manufacturers making Windows Phone devices. “Our OS group mission is to enable the innovations of our hardware partners to shine through on the Windows platform,” said Terry Myerson, the company’s vice president of operating systems. But while Microsoft still plans to license its mobile software to other companies building Windows Phone devices, is anyone even interested?

Continue reading…

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Instagram chases better video editing with Luma acquisition

Facebook acquires Luma to make real Instagram's video dreams

According to TechCrunch, Instagram has just acquired Luma for an undisclosed amount to help bring its video service to the next level. In addition to basics like video stabilization and adjustments for brightness and saturation, Luma will bring its “Infinite Filter” tech into the fold. What does this do? Well, with it you can add or remove filters to video clips at will once the footage is in the can. If you’re one of Luma’s existing users, the company is shutting its doors come December 31st, so consider this your fair warning to grab your clips before then. A revamped platform certainly couldn’t hurt Instagram’s video ambitions — after all, the competition isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

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Source: TechCrunch, AllThingsD

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Gesture In The Picture, As Intel Picks Up Omek But PrimeSense Dismisses Apple Acquisition Rumors

omek grasp

Yet more exits for Israeli startups, with the latest two developments a throwback to the hardware and engineering muscle that raised the tech profile of the region in the first place, before the Waze’s of the world got us thinking about Israel as a hotbed of consumer internet companies. Today, reports leaked out, and we have now confirmed, that Intel has acquired Omek Interactive, a company it had already invested in that makes technology for gesture-based interfaces. At the same time, Israel publication the Calcalist is reporting that Apple is circling around PrimeSense, another developer of gesture-based technology that has been used in Microsoft’s Kinect. Together, the moves could be a sign that gesture-based controls such as those in Microsoft’s Kinect may become even more prevalent.

The Apple/PrimeSense talk, however, appears to be too early, if not altogether inaccurate. The Calcalist’s report notes that this is based around some meetings between the two companies, and that the price for the deal would be around $ 280 million. But a source at the company described the report as “BS.”

This is “journalist delusion based on unverified and twisted hints,” the source added, also questioning the valuation: “280M? Come on! We’re worth 10 times that. ” Up to now, PrimeSense has raised nearly $ 50 million from investors that include Gemini Israel Funds, Canaan Partners, Genesis Partners and Silver Lake Partners and bills itself as “giving digital devices the gift of sight.”

Meanwhile, we have contacted Omek, where the person we tracked down on the phone giggled (yes) and then referred us to Intel for any questions.

We have yet to hear back from Intel or investing arm Intel Capital. A post on Harretz notes the deal actually concluded last week. Haaretz has also managed to get a confirmation directly from Intel: “The acquisition of Omek Interactive will help increase Intel’s capabilities in the delivery of more immersive perceptual computing experiences,” the statement says.
Update: Intel has confirmed to me that the transaction has closed. In addition to the same statement it gave Haaretz, an Intel spokesperson added it’s not confirming the value of the deal, and “we are also not disclosing the timelines on future products that integrate this technology.”

The reported value of Intel’s deal for Omek is between $ 30 million and $ 50 million. Without actually hearing from Intel on the details, for now there appears to be a few lines of thinking behind why Intel is going beyond being simply a strategic investor. (Omek has raised $ 13.8 million to date, with $ 7 million of that coming from Intel Capital.)

The first of these — as explained in a story in VentureBeat, which first reported talks between the two in March of this year — is that Omek may have been in the market to raise more money and that it chose the exit route instead of going it alone.

Another is that Intel wants the technology as part of its bigger moves into 3D visualization and “perceptual computing”, Intel’s catch-all term for gesture, touch, voice, and other AI-style sensory technologies. This is also the subject of a $ 100 million investment fund Intel launched in April.

And a third is more mundane and cynical, and potentially true regardless of Intel’s wider, more airy ambitions. The blog GeekTime suggests that this is a hardware play: Intel wants Omek for technology that it can embed into chips. The more functionality it can add that will drive new purchases of those chips by device makers, the better:

“The search for worthy power eating technologies to justify the need for yearly chip version upgrades is an integral part of the hardware industries market management strategy,” it writes. “Device companies must be convinced of the need to design their products to support the more expensive vanguard models of the processing world, placing the need for innovation above price point, and even quality in some cases.”

Whether or not the PrimeSense news is accurate, 9to5Mac makes a convincing argument for how the startup’s intellectual property could fit in with other IP at Apple already; and with Apple’s bigger ambitions to develop products that take it further into the living room, specifically with Apple TV.

And that, in the end, seems to be the crux of today’s news as well. However you cut it, and whoever ends up controlling it (in the tech sense), gesture is increasingly coming into focus and will let us get machines to do our bidding with the wave of a hand, or finger, soon.

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