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2018年美国技术巨头收购的13家欧洲创业黑马

专栏国际资讯投融资

2018年美国技术巨头收购的13家欧洲创业黑马

与往年一样,2018年技术领域发生了一些大型收购案,而欧洲成为希望加强自身技术储备的美国公司的热门选择。

在今天的这篇文章中,我们就为您简要回顾一下13家被收购欧洲创企的基本情况。

Spektral(丹麦)

去年10月,苹果公司宣布收购丹麦初创企业Spektral,后者利用计算机视觉和机器学习技术实时删除视频中的背景,该技术可集成到iPhone相机中。但实际上,对于在苹果的管理下该技术将会如何发展,现在就做出预测还为时过早。

该交易的条款尚未正式披露,但当地报纸称该交易总额约为3000万美元。

Shazam(英国)

这次收购实际上是去年宣布的,苹果以4亿美元收购伦敦的音频识别平台Shazam,整个过程耗时10个月才完成,欧盟委员会(EC)进行的反竞争调查是造成这一拖延的一大原因。但欧盟委员会9月份确定收购可以继续进行,并且苹果公司在几周后正式宣布达成协议。

虽然苹果已经承诺保持独立的Shazam应用运行,但未来可能会将该技术更深入地集成到苹果自己的产品中。

Dialog Semiconductor(德国)

这次收购并非全面收购,但值得关注。 苹果签署了价值6亿美元的协议,收购Dialog的电源管理芯片业务,其中包括Dialog技术的许可、少数欧洲办事处的所有权以及300名工程师团队。

一年多以前曾有报道称苹果公司可能会换掉iPhone上Dialog Semiconductor的电源管理芯片,这一传闻导致Dialog的股价暴跌近40%。

Platoon(英国)

本月早些时候有消息称,苹果收购了位于伦敦的Platoon,该公司主要为音乐家提供创意服务。

苹果尚未确认Platoon的具体计划,但该初创企业专门发展艺术家以签署唱片交易,同时支持巡回演出、制作原创内容以及相关的营销活动。毋庸置疑,Platoon将会很好地融入Apple Music。

Bloomsbury AI(英国)

7月,Facebook证实收购位于伦敦的初创企业Bloomsbury AI。交易条款尚未公布,但一些报道称该交易价值高达3000万美元。

Bloomsbury AI的自然语言处理(NLP)和机器阅读技术可以解析非结构化文本和文档以回答问题。事实上,这更像是一次人才收购,Bloomsbury AI选择停止其核心产品的工作,转而在GitHub上开源。

GraphicsFuzz(英国)

谷歌在8月份证实收购了位于伦敦的GraphicsFuzz,这家初创企业专注于移动图形基准测试工具。

这笔交易的条款尚未公布,GraphicsFuzz的三人团队将加入安卓图形团队,协助将GraphicsFuzz驱动程序测试技术整合到"安卓生态系统"中。

Ninja Theory(英国)

早在6月份,微软就宣布收购了五家游戏工作室,其中一家是位于英国的Hellblade创作者Ninja Theory。

从以往历史来看,微软运行的内部工作室并不多,因此无法获取Xbox的甲方独家权利。将五个工作室置于旗下某种程度上应该能够对此进行补救。

Playground Games(英国)

Forza Horizon开发者Playground Games也在6月份被收购,Forza Horizon 4推出时,成为微软独家PC和Xbox发布的一部分。

Blue Vision Labs(英国)

正在计划2019年首次公开募股的叫车公司Lyft 10月宣布收购位于伦敦的增强现实(AR)初创企业Blue Vision Labs。

通过这次收购,Lyft现在拥有了自己第一个英国办事处,但没有任何消息表明Lyft是否能够进一步在市场上推出其核心叫车服务。然而,收购的目的是支持Lyft的自动驾驶车辆工作,因为Blue Vision Labs现在隶属Lyft 自动驾驶汽车5级(全自动)部门。

PlayCanvas(英国)

三月份有消息称Snap(Snapchat背后的公司)收购了位于伦敦的PlayCanvas,后者是一家以网络为主的游戏引擎制造商。但是,这笔交易似乎发生在去年。

虽然未经证实,但报道称Snap可能正在寻求将一些游戏功能引入Snapchat应用的方法,或者可能为其旗舰应用探索其他3D或虚拟现实(VR)功能。

iZettle(瑞典)

在被PayPal以22亿美元的价格收购之前,Square的欧洲竞争对手iZettle今年曾计划公开上市,不过后来又取消了这个决定。据了解,这可能是迄今为止PayPal规模最大的一次收购。

iZettle运营范围覆盖十几个欧洲市场,所以说收购行为将有助于PayPal增加在实体零售店的支付业务。

然而值得注意的是,尽管收购已经完成,但英国竞争管理局CMA已经下令对该交易进行调查,这意味着未来可能出现某种形式的逆转。

Interoute(英国)

早在2月份,美国电信公司和互联网提供商GTT Communications就曾披露,它正着手以23亿美元的价格收购欧洲光纤网络运营商Interoute。

位于伦敦的Interoute运营着欧洲最大的光纤网络之一,覆盖范围达7万多公里以及29个国家和地区。 简而言之,此次收购为GTT提供了一个在全球范围内扩展其网络的便捷渠道。

DogBuddy(英国)

宠物市场可能不是最迷人的行业,但却是一个价值数十亿美元的行业。总部位于美国的养狗平台Rover今年筹集了1.55亿美元,用于进行国际扩张,其中包括抢购欧洲竞争对手DogBuddy。

全球三分之二的宠物食品消费发生在美国和欧洲,700多亿美元的花费中大部分是养狗方面的消费。

是的,狗的业务也是大生意。

As in previous years, a number of big acquisitions went down in the technology realm in 2018, and Europe was a popular destination for U.S. companies looking to bolster their technological arsenal.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the transatlantic deals that happened this year.

Spektral (Denmark)

In October, Apple confirmed that it had bought Danish startup Spektral, which uses computer vision and machine learning technology to remove the backgrounds from videos in real time — something that could be useful when integrated into the iPhone camera, for example. But really, it’s too early to know what will become of the technology under Apple’s stewardship.

Terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, but local newspaper B?rsen pegged the deal at around $30 million.

Shazam (U.K.)

This was actually announced last year, but Apple’s $400 million bid to buy London-based audio-recognition platform Shazam took around 10 months to complete, due in part to an anti-competition investigation carried out by the European Commission (EC). But the EC determined in September that the acquisition could proceed, and Apple formally announced the conclusion of the deal a few weeks later.

While Apple has already committed to keeping the standalone Shazam app running, it’s likely that the technology will be integrated more deeply into Apple’s own products in the future.

Dialog Semiconductor (Germany)

This wasn’t a full acquisition, as such, but it’s worth noting anyway. Apple signed a $600 million deal to buy part of Dialog’s power-management chip business, which included licensing of Dialog’s technology, ownership of a handful of its European offices, and onboarding 300 of its engineers.

News of the deal came more than a year after reports emerged that Apple could replace Dialog Semiconductor’s power-management chips on the iPhone, a rumor that caused Dialog’s shares to plummet almost 40 percent.

Platoon (U.K.)

Earlier this month, news emerged that Apple had bought up London-based Platoon, a creative services firm for musicians.

Apple hasn’t confirmed specific plans for Platoon, but the startup specializes in developing artists to the point of signing record deals, along with support for touring, producing original content, and related marketing campaigns. Needless to say, Platoon will nestle nicely within Apple Music.

Bloomsbury AI (U.K.)

In July, Facebook confirmed it was buying London-based startup Bloomsbury AI. Terms of the deal were not announced, but some reports suggested the deal was worth up to $30 million.

Bloomsbury AI’s natural language processing (NLP) and machine reading technology can parse unstructured texts and documents in order to answer questions. In truth, this was more of an acqui-hire, with Bloomsbury AI electing to stop work on its core product, instead open-sourcing it on GitHub.

GraphicsFuzz (U.K.)

Google confirmed in August that it had bought London-based GraphicsFuzz, a startup specializing in mobile graphics benchmarking tools.

As a result of the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, GraphicsFuzz’s three-person team would join the Android graphics team to help integrate their driver-testing technology into “the Android ecosystem,” according to a statement Google issued at the time.

Ninja Theory (U.K.)

Back in June, Microsoft announced that it had bought five game studios, one of which was U.K.-based Hellblade creator Ninja Theory.

Historically, Microsoft hasn’t operated many internal studios, which has prevented it from gaining access to first-party exclusives for the Xbox. Bringing five studios under its wing should go some way toward remedying that.

Playground Games (U.K.)

Constituting part of that same batch of acquisitions in June was Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, which later formed part of an exclusive PC and Xbox launch for Microsoft when Forza Horizon 4 rolled out.

Blue Vision Labs (U.K.)

Ride-hailing company Lyft, which is planning its IPO for 2019, announced in October that it was buying London-based augmented reality (AR) startup Blue Vision Labs.

With this acquisition, Lyft now has its first U.K. office, though there is no word on whether Lyft is any closer to launching its core ride-hailing service in the market. What the acquisition does, however, is bolster Lyft’s autonomous vehicle efforts, as Blue Vision Labs is now part of Lyft’s level 5 (fully autonomous) division for self-driving cars.

PlayCanvas (U.K.)

News emerged in March that Snap — the company behind Snapchat — had acquired London-based PlayCanvas, maker of a web-focused gaming engine. However, the transaction seems to have actually taken place the previous year.

While unconfirmed, reports suggest that Snap could be looking for ways to bring some gaming features into the Snapchat app or possibly explore additional 3D or virtual reality (VR) features for its flagship app.

iZettle (Sweden)

European Square rival iZettle was all ready to go public this year before PayPal swooped in and bought the startup in a $2.2 billion deal — by far PayPal’s biggest acquisition to date.

For PayPal, it’s all about increasing its payments presence in physical retail outlets, with iZettle operating in around a dozen European markets.

It is worth noting, however, that although the acquisition was completed, U.K. competition authority CMA has since ordered an investigation into the deal, meaning there could be some form of reversal in the future.

Interoute (U.K.)

Way back in February, U.S. telecom company and internet provider GTT Communications revealed it was buying European fiber network operator Interoute in a deal worth $2.3 billion.

London-based Interoute already operated one of Europe’s biggest fiber networks, spanning more than 70,000 kilometers and 29 countries. In a nutshell, this purchase gave GTT an easy conduit to expand its network globally.

DogBuddy (U.K.)

It may not be the most glamorous of sectors, but the global pet market is a multi-billion dollar industry. U.S.-based dog-sitting platform Rover raised $155 million this year to spearhead its international expansion, which included snapping up European rival DogBuddy.

Two-thirds of global pet food spend takes place in the U.S. and Europe, with most of the $70 billion+ expenditure consumed by dogs.

Yes, canines are big business.

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