Tech world sees big ticket acquisitions

IT majors invest in project management, artificial intelligence and audio software firms

By Author   |   Sameeksha Bansal   |   Published: 17th Jan 2017   11:29 am Updated: 8th Feb 2017   7:31 pm
The new year has already seen a few acquisitions

We’re into the second half of the first month of the new year. And things have been going well, for the most part, in the startup scene globally. We’ve already seen a few acquisitions in varied verticals. Here are some of them:

Trello: This was a big one. Trello, a fast growing project management service was acquired by Atlassian for a cool $425 million. This is also the enterprise software company’s biggest acquisition yet. Given Atlassian’s product portfolio, acquiring Trello makes sense, although it is quite similar to their own project management service, JIRA. Trello has been doing well with about 19 million monthly users and history tells us the more products of a company the customer uses, the better; Atlassian now has the opportunity to introduce JIRA to those 19 million users and spread the web from there. Let’s not forget that Trello was made for cloud first, as opposed to JIRA, which does offer cloud services, but was developed before the existence of Cloud. While no formal announcement has been made on what Atlassian plans for Trello, CEO Simmon’s has made it clear that they fully intend to further developing and backing Trello.

Maluuba: The Canadian deep learning company, acquired by Microsoft, focuses on natural language processing in a quest to build better artificial intelligence. Interestingly Maluuba is backed by Samsung. The deal includes an ace for Microsoft in the name of Yoshua Bengio – an advisor for Maluuba, who is known to be a leading authority on artificial intelligence. Yoshua Bengio will take on an advisory role for Microsoft. If you remember Microsoft’s most recent acquisition was LinkedIn. With more players entering the enterprise software scene, Microsoft is looking to strengthen its expertise in artificial intelligence thus allowing it a deep seated knowledge of the everyday use of business software by people. Since Microsoft’s products are the popular choice at enterprise level, an integration with the technology Maluuba has to offer will make them a lot more intuitive and in turn the user a lot more efficient. Win-Win?
Maluuba was founded in 2011 and has raised an amount of $11 Million in VC funding – including a seed round from Samsung Ventures.
Fun Fact: Both Trello and Maluuba were participants in TechCrunch’s Battlefield competitions in 2011 and 2012.

Lime Audio: A Swedish based company, Lime Audio’s flagship product is ‘TrueVoice’: an audio conferencing software. What TrueVoice does is use a mixture of speech enhancement techniques to improve voice quality. With Google now focusing on providing solutions powered by Chromebox for Meetings and Hangouts, the emphasis on voice quality and conferencing solutions is a lot higher. Towards that end, Lime Audio fits right in with it’s easily integrated product. It’s not clear when the integration will go live. While Google has identified its business solutions for immediate integration with TrueVoice, it’ll only be a matter of time before the entire suite of Google products involving audio: personal and business will be integrated. Lime Audio is not the first time Google has acquired something with Swedish roots. Remember Marratech, a company they acquired back in 2007; also for Google Hangouts. There have also been a couple of other Swedish acquisitions under Google’s belt.