Notable technology acquisitions 2019

The biggest technology acquisitions in 2019, including Splunk buying SigFx, Salesforce picking up Tableau and ClickSoftware, and Apple snapping up Intel's smartphone modem business

In 2018 there was some major M&A activity in the IT industry, topped by IBM's acquisition of Red Hat for a staggering $33 billion and Broadcom buying CA Technologies for $18.9 billion in cash.

According to Deloitte's annual study of M&A activity (pdf), 73 percent of tech sector executives expect even bigger deals this year - the highest percentage of any industry - but their acquisition strategies look likely to change.

"Based on the latest survey results, there may be a pivot away from purchasing a company simply for its technology ... Instead, in the next 12 months, corporate respondents note an increased focus on buying a company in order to expand," the report read.

Here are the most notable tech acquisitions of 2019 so far.

Read next: Most notable tech acquisitions of 2018

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Martyn Williams

Microsoft acquires cloud migration specialist Movere

Microsoft announced the acquisition of Movere for an undisclosed amount in September.

Based in Bellevue, Washington, Movere has developed a set of discovery and assessment capabilities to ease the migration of workloads to the clouds. Its technology and people will be moved into the Azure Migrate team at Microsoft.

Jeremy Winter, partner director for Azure Management wrote in a blog post: "We’re committed to providing our customers with a comprehensive experience for migrating existing applications and infrastructure to Azure, which include the right tools, processes, and programs. As part of that ongoing investment, we’re excited to welcome the leadership, talent, technology, and deep expertise Movere has built in enabling customers’ journey to the cloud over the last 11 years."

VMware
Magdalena Petrova

VMware acquires Pivotal and Carbon Black for $4.8bn

Virtualisation specialist VMware announced in August that it will be acquiring platform-as-a-service vendor and fellow Dell family member Pivotal, and Carbon Black, an anti-malware firm from Massachusetts, in a combined $4.8 billion deal.

The $2.1 billion Carbon Black deal will see its team join VMware and its solutions will eventually be rolled into VMware's security portfolio, which includes AppDefense, NSX, SecureState and Workspace ONE.

“The security industry is broken and ineffective with too many fragmented solutions and no cohesive platform architecture. By bringing Carbon Black into the VMware family, we are now taking a huge step forward in security and delivering an enterprise-grade platform to administer and protect workloads, applications and networks,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware in a statement.

The Pivotal deal is more complicated as Dell owns both firms. The proposed deal will involve a Class A share buyout of $15 per share, and Class B shares will be exchanged for VMware stock at a rate of 0.0550. The vendor calculates this as a $2.7 billion market value for the firm.

“The time is ideal to join forces with VMware, an industry leader who shares our commitment to open source community contributions and our focus on adding developer value on top of Kubernetes,” said Rob Mee, CEO of Pivotal in a statement.

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Temenos to acquire Kony for $559 million

Swiss banking technology vendor Temenos announced in August that it will acquire Kony, a mobile application specialist, for $559 million.

Temenos wants to expand its reach in the US market and hopes this deal with the Texas-based firm can give it a foothold there.

In terms of product, Temenos is looking to boost the functionality of its flagship Infinity product through Kony's Digital Banking Experience (Kony DBX).

Max Chuard, Temenos CEO said in a statement that the acquisition will “allow us to grow both our US and our digital front office business faster, while being highly accretive and synergistic to the rest of our business."

© Splunk

Splunk to acquire SignalFx for $1.05 billion

Big data specialist Splunk has agreed to acquire rival vendor SignalFx, which specialises in real-time cloud infrastructure, microservices and application monitoring. The acquisition will cost $1.05 billion in a 60 percent cash, 40 percent stock deal. Splunk will aim to bring SignalFx's cloud expertise into its suite of monitoring tools to span all possible IT environments.

“Data fuels the modern business, and the acquisition of SignalFx squarely puts Splunk in position as a leader in monitoring and observability at massive scale,” said Doug Merritt, CEO of Splunk in a statement. “SignalFx will support our continued commitment to giving customers one platform that can monitor the entire enterprise application lifecycle. We are also incredibly impressed by the SignalFx team and leadership, whose expertise and professionalism are a strong addition to the Splunk family.”

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Salesforce acquires ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion

Salesforce announced its second acquisition of more than $1 billion this year in August when it acquires ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion.

Founded in 1997, ClickSoftware specialises in a range of Field Service software, which allows companies to manage their mobile workforces.

“Our acquisition of ClickSoftware will not only accelerate the growth of Service Cloud, but drive further innovation with Field Service Lightning to better meet the needs of our customers,” Bill Patterson, EVP and GM of Salesforce Service Cloud said in a statement.

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Martyn Williams

Mastercard to acquire Nets for €2.85 billion

Mastercard had a €2.85 billion offer to acquire Danish payments platform Nets in August. It will add the firm's clearing, instant payment services and e-billing software to its payments portfolio as a result in a bid to get closer to real time payments for its customers.

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HPE acquires assets from troubled MapR

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced that it has acquired the business assets of the commercial Hadoop vendor MapR after its recent financial troubles.

This will be good news for existing customers of MapR who are wary of their investments as HPE says it will continue to support current deployments and will support its existing partner ecosystem.

For HPE it is acquiring intellectual property and domain expertise, especially around data storage for artificial intelligence and machine learning use cases. The vendor is folding MapR into its Intelligent Data Platform division.

Read next: What the Cloudera Hortonworks mega merger means for the big data industry

“At HPE, we are working to simplify our customers’ and partners’ adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Phil Davis, president of hybrid IT at Hewlett Packard Enterprise said in a statement. “MapR’s enterprise-grade file system and cloud-native storage services complement HPE’s BlueData container platform strategy and will allow us to provide a unique value proposition for customers. We are pleased to welcome MapR’s world-class team to the HPE family.”

© Microsoft

Microsoft acquires PromoteIQ

Microsoft announced in August that it was acquiring PromoteIQ for an undisclosed amount.

The New York-based retailtech company had raised just $6.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase, but had clients including B&H, Kohls, Kroger and Office Depot.

Microsoft will hope that its technology and retail sector expertise will add value when engaging with retail companies, especially on the public cloud side as Walmart is already a big Azure customer.

"PromoteIQ has pioneered the private marketplace approach to digital vendor marketing. PromoteIQ’s technology strategically complements Microsoft’s current retail advertising offerings, and together, we can enable retailers with a portfolio of technology solutions to modernize their e-commerce platforms and maximize their monetization opportunity," Rik van der Kooi wrote in a blog post.

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London Stock Exchange agrees deal to buy Refinitiv

The London Stock Exchange announced that it will be acquiring the financial data specialist Refinitiv in August, subject to regulatory approval.

Reuters reported in July that the stock exchange owner was in advanced talks to acquire Refinitiv - which underpins the data and trading platforms business of financial giant Thomson Reuters - after bidding $27 billion (£22 billion).

The deal, which caused LSE stock to jump 15percent when initially reported, could see LSE better compete with Bloomberg and its popular Terminal desktop technology and would also consolidate its strong data position.

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Apple acquires Intel's modem business for $1 billion

Apple announced that it was acquiring Intel's smartphone modem business in July, in a move that should help the Cupertino-based company lower the cost of producing 5G-connected handsets, wearables and connected devices. Around 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple as a result.

This deal won't have an immediate impact on customers, as Apple and Qualcomm signed a six-year licensing agreement with a multi-year chipset deal back in April, but it is acquiring a lot of expertise and intellectual property as a result.

“Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward," Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies said in a statement.

Google Cloud acquires Elastifile
© Google Cloud

Google Cloud acquires Elastifile

New Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian announced his second acquisition in July, purchasing cloud storage company Elastifile for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in San Francisco in 2013, Elastifile focuses on enterprise cloud file storage. It has raised $74 million to date, including investment from Dell Technologies Capital, Western Digital Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Battery Ventures.

Writing in a blog post, Kurian said: "Elastifile is a pioneer in solving the challenges associated with file storage for enterprise-grade applications running at scale in the cloud. They’ve built a unique software-defined approach to managed Network Attached Storage (NAS), enabling organisations to scale performance or capacity without cumbersome overhead. Building on this technology, our teams are excited to join together and integrate Elastifile with Google Cloud Filestore."

QA acquires Cloud Academy

QA acquires Cloud Academy

UK training specialist QA announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based Cloud Academy in July. Cloud Academy will bring more than 500 certification courses and 1500 instructor-led courses to the QA platform, including in disciplines like devops and cybersecurity across all of the major cloud computing platforms.

Commenting on the announcement, QA CEO William Macpherson said: "Bringing QA’s and Cloud Academy’s expertise together will mean a significant shift in the way corporate training is delivered. Businesses want a holistic learning experience that combines face-to-face training with a genuinely intuitive, immersive and engaging digital experience."

CloudBees acquires Rollout and Electric Cloud
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CloudBees acquires Rollout and Electric Cloud

Enterprise continuous delivery specialist CloudBees announced it had bought Rollout in June, hot on the heels of its acquisition of Electric Cloud in April.

Rollout specialises in secure feature management for developers and Electric Cloud has built its own continuous delivery solution called Electric Flow, which is now CloudBees Flow, so the synergies there are obvious.

Commenting on the Rollout announcement in a blog post, VP of product management at CloudBees, Ben Williams, said: "First of all, Rollout is now an important product within a larger organisation. It will be getting even more love with further investment in making it even better! And Rollout users will benefit from all of the CloudBees expertise in building and supporting DevOps products at scale."

Blue Prism acquires Thoughtonomy for £80 million

Blue Prism acquires Thoughtonomy for £80 million

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) vendor Blue Prism announced that it is acquiring its UK rival Thoughtonomy for £80 million in cash on 19 June.

Blue Prism will look to leverage Thoughtonomy's cloud expertise to offer a 'turnkey SaaS' RPA solution and attract more mid-market customers.

“The acquisition of Thoughtonomy will support a broader strategy to strengthen our portfolio with cloud offerings that deliver value and enhance customer experience,” Alastair Bathgate, CEO and co-founder at Blue Prism said in a press release.

“Thoughtonomy brings valuable knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of cloud-based intelligent digital workers, with a successful track record delivering its solutions to mid-tier enterprises in a number of industry verticals complementary to the areas of the market Blue Prism has served.”

Salesforce to acquire Tableau for $15.7 billion
© Salesforce

Salesforce to acquire Tableau for $15.7 billion

Just a week after Google Cloud acquired analytics software company Looker for $2.6 billion, SaaS CRM giant Salesforce announced that it will be acquiring rival analytics firm Tableau for $15.7 billion in an all-stock deal.

Founded in Mountain View in 2003, Tableau specialises in self-serve analytics and data visualisation solutions and has shown impressive growth in a highly competitive market. It went public in 2013 after raising $45 million in venture capital funding.

Read next: Tableau announces new pricing structure and data prep tool

"We are bringing together the world’s #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform. Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers. It’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers--bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand their world,” Marc Benioff, chairman and co-CEO at Salesforce said in a prepared statement. “I’m thrilled to welcome Adam and his team to Salesforce.”

Tableau will continue to operate independently under CEO Adam Selipsky but Salesforce also appears to be planning to bring its expertise to bear on its own Customer 360 and Einstein analytics capabilities.

Google to acquire Looker for $2.6 billion

Google to acquire Looker for $2.6 billion

Google's cloud division announced that it will acquire the BI and analytics vendor Looker for $2.6 billion in cash on 6 June.

This is the new Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian's first acquisition since taking. He wrote in a blog post: "Looker extends our business analytics offering with two important capabilities—first, the ability to define business metrics once in a consistent way across data sources. This makes it easy for anyone to query data while maintaining consistent definitions in their calculations, ensuring teams get accurate results.

"Second, Looker also provides users with a powerful analytics platform that delivers applications for business intelligence and use-case specific solutions such as Sales Analytics, as well as a flexible, embedded analytics product to collaborate on business decisions.

"The addition of Looker to Google Cloud will help us offer customers a more complete analytics solution from ingesting data to visualising results and integrating data and insights into their daily workflows. It will also help us deliver industry specific analytics solutions in our key verticals, whether that’s supply chain analytics in retailing; media analytics in entertainment; or healthcare analytics at global scale."

The California-based startup is part of a crowded BI and analytics space but has loyal customers in Buzzfeed, Deliveroo and retailer Silkfred and had raised more than $280 million at a unicorn valuation.

HPE acquires Cray for $1.3 billion
© HPE

HPE acquires Cray for $1.3 billion

HPE agreed to purchase the Seattle-based supercomputer specialist in May for $1.3 billion. More than a quarter of the world's 100 most powerful super computers are made by Cray.

“Cray is a global technology leader in supercomputing and shares our deep commitment to innovation. By combining our world-class teams and technology, we will have the opportunity to drive the next generation of high performance computing and play an important part in advancing the way people live and work," Antonio Neri, president and CEO at HPE said.

HPE will hope to create more opportunities to break into a predicted $5 billion exascale computing market with the acquisition, especially as interest in AI and machine learning continues to develop at a pace.

Apptio acquires Cloudability
© Apptio

Apptio acquires Cloudability

Apptio aims to give IT leaders a full picture of their technology spending and announced the acquisition of Cloudability, which specialises in multi-cloud financial management and FinOps, in May.

“The cloud has fundamentally changed the traditional IT operating model, enabling digital transformation in companies of all sizes. Cloud services represent a significant investment for every company and yet, managing, optimising and governing the financial and operational details of the cloud is impossible without data science and machine learning,” said Sunny Gupta, Apptio CEO.

“With Cloudability, Apptio becomes the clear, agnostic market leader providing insights, optimization and business value across all technology investments including public cloud services and hybrid infrastructure.”

Cloudability also aims to leverage machine learning to surface insights for its users, which aligns well with Apptios strategic vision.

Apptio says it will focus on integrating Cloudability's cloud/DevOps capabilities, like reserved instance planning, predictive forecasting, optimising workflow integration and CI/CD tools.

ServiceNow acquires Appsee
© ServiceNow

ServiceNow acquires Appsee

ServiceNow announced the acquisition of Israeli startup Appsee in May for an undisclosed amount.

The SaaS service desk specialist identified the company's in-app mobile analytics tool and talent as key drivers for the acquisition. In the short term ServiceNow will look to bring this level of analytics into its Now Platform.

“Making our work lives as mobile friendly as our real lives is the next wave of innovation at work. Increasingly employees expect and want more consumer-like experiences at work,” said Boaz Hecht, senior director of platform product management at ServiceNow.

“With Appsee, ServiceNow will be able to optimise its own mobile apps and desktop web experiences to bring consumer grade mobile experiences to our customers. Over time, customers using the Now Platform will be able to better analyse how their end users are using the Now Platform to make their work simpler and easier.”

Pluralsight acquires GitPrime for $170 million
© Pluralsight

Pluralsight acquires GitPrime for $170 million

Online training platform Pluralsight announced its acquisition of GitPrime at the beginning of May for $170 million in cash.

GitPrime connects to all major code repositories, giving the Utah-based Pluralsight good visibility of what developers are working on and which skills and code areas are getting hot.

The integration of GitPrime with our leading technology skills platform is a win for our customers and will greatly expand the Pluralsight platform to provide even more value to technology leaders and developers,” said Aaron Skonnard, co-founder and CEO of Pluralsight. “Marrying Pluralsight’s skill measurement and skill development capabilities with GitPrime’s developer productivity capabilities provides technology leaders with the most complete platform to improve efficiencies and speed up product development to deliver their digital transformation strategies."

CloudBees acquires Electric Cloud for undisclosed amount
CloudBees

CloudBees acquires Electric Cloud for undisclosed amount

The devops tooling specialist CloudBees acquired Electric Cloud in April. The California-based company had raised upwards of $60 million at the time of acquisition.

CloudBees specialises in continuous delivery and the Jenkins automation platform and Electric Cloud specialises in application release automation, so the synergy is pretty obvious from the outset.

“As of today, we provide customers with best-of-breed CI/CD software from a single vendor, establishing CloudBees as a continuous delivery powerhouse,” Sacha Labourey, CEO and co-founder of CloudBees said in a statement. “By combining the strength of CloudBees, Electric Cloud, Jenkins and Jenkins X, CloudBees offers the best CI/CD solution for any application, from classic to Kubernetes, on-premise to cloud, self-managed to self-service.”

Uber buys ride-hailing rival Careem for $3.1 billion

Uber buys ride-hailing rival Careem for $3.1 billion

Uber is acquiring Middle Eastern ride-hailing competitor Careem for $3.1 billion ahead of the US company's impending initial public offering.

Careem will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, which will acquire all of Careem's mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region. The deal, which remains subject to regulatory approval in the 15 countries where Careem operates, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Dr Shweta Singha, assistant professor at Warwick Business School, said the deal was further evidence of Uber's growing global ambition.

"It had already acquired Jump Bikes, now it has acquired its biggest Middle Eastern rival Careem," he said. "It's clear that Uber is moving away from being a 'vanilla' car sharing company to becoming a one-stop shop, which connects end to end transportation.

"The timing of this deal for Careem is significant, just days after Uber decided to launch its initial price offering (IPO). As well as the regular benefits of an acquisition, such as enhanced economies of scale and improved market reach, it will increase Uber's stock market valuation and that initial share price.

"In strategy timing is everything. Acquiring Careem at the right moment shows that Uber has mastered the art of perfect timing."

McDonald\'s to buy machine learning startup Dynamic Yield

McDonald's to buy machine learning startup Dynamic Yield

McDonald's is spending around $300 million to buy Israeli machine learning startup Dynamic Yield and use its technology to create a more personalised customer experience.

The "decision logic" system will be used to customise outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays based on the time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, trending menu items and previous customer choices.

McDonald's will launch the new menu boards across the US in 2019 and then roll them out in other international markets. The fast-food giant also plans to integrate the technology into all of its other digital customer products, such as self-order kiosks and McDonald's Global Mobile App.

"With this acquisition, we're expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we'll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalised experiences for our customers," McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

Amazon buys wi-fi router maker Eero

Amazon buys wi-fi router maker Eero

Amazon announced that it was acquiring the wi-fi router company Eero in March, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Amazon is expected to operate Eero as a standalone unit, headed up by existing CEO Nick Weaver, much like it has done with smart doorbell company Ring, which it acquired last year.

In an interview with The Verge, Weaver tried to allay any privacy concerns customers may have following the news, saying: "If anything, we’re just going to strengthen our commitment to both privacy and security. We’ve got some pretty clear privacy principles that we’ve used for developing all of our products, that are the really the underpinnings of everything. Those aren’t going to change.”

Eero isn't available in the UK yet but provides easy-to-use wi-fi routers that cover an entire home or apartment, which retail at $400. Amazon is initially eying the company's ability to make the installation of smart home devices simpler and will slot into the company's growing hardware division there.

Nvidia to buy Mellanox for nearly $7 billion
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Nvidia to buy Mellanox for nearly $7 billion

Nvidia agreed to pay $6.9 billion for American-Israeli data centre chipmaker Mellanox in March.

The Santa Clara-based graphics chip specialist, Nvidia, will pay $125 a share in cash for Mellanox - a premium on the $109.38 a share that Mellanox closed at last Friday.

Nvidia is thought to have been up against fellow chipmaker Intel in the bidding, notes Bloomberg.

Mellanox makes everything from switches through to cabling and silicon for high-performance computing - making it a fit for Nvidia which has in recent years pivoted towards providing graphic chips for data centres, specialising in AI-assisted image analysis and creation.

Nvidia founder Jensen Huang said: "The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fuelling skyrocketing demand on the world's data centres. Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant data centre-scale compute engine."

Mellanox's founder and CEO Eyal Waldman, meanwhile, said in a statement: "We share the same vision for accelerated computing as Nvidia. Combining our two companies comes as a natural extension of our longstanding partnership and is a great fit given our common performance-driven cultures. This combination will foster the creation of powerful technology and fantastic opportunities for our people."

The announcement from Nvidia pointed to previous collaboration between the two firms, such as with the US Department of Energy's two supercomputers, Sierra and Summit.

F5 buys NGINX for $670 million
© NGINX

F5 buys NGINX for $670 million

F5 Networks announced that it had acquired NGINX for $670 million in March.

NGINX is the commercial company behind the popular open-source web server and has raised more than $100 million to date, positioning itself as an alternative to F5's own web application services.

“F5’s acquisition of NGINX strengthens our growth trajectory by accelerating our software and multi-cloud transformation,” François Locoh-Donou, president and CEO of F5, said in a statement.

“By bringing F5’s world-class application security and rich application services portfolio for improving performance, availability, and management together with NGINX’s leading software application delivery and API management solutions, unparalleled credibility and brand recognition in the DevOps community, and massive open source user base, we bridge the divide between NetOps and DevOps with consistent application services across an enterprise’s multi-cloud environment.”

Nintex adds RPA to automation service with acquisition of EnableSoft
© Nintex

Nintex adds RPA to automation service with acquisition of EnableSoft

Workflow automation company Nintex bought RPA vendor EnableSoft in March for an undisclosed sum.

EnableSoft is the maker of Foxtrot, a software-as-a-service solution designed to quickly automate tasks without any programming or coding in desktop apps, Excel workbooks, web apps, PDF forms, terminal emulators and other applications.

Foxtrot will be integrated with the Nintex Platform, adding bots for running basic tasks to the workflow automation system.

"We want to make RPA beneficial and affordable to enterprise organisations, paired with the rest of our process management and automation offerings like process mapping, workflow automation, forms, mobile apps, document generation, and e-signatures," Nintex CEO Eric Johnson explained in a statement.

Qlik to Acquire Attunity for $560 million

Qlik to Acquire Attunity for $560 million

Data analytics and BI software vendor Qlik announced that it is in the process of acquiring data integration company Attunity for $560 million in February. Qlik already promises simplified data ingestion and integration, but will hope that adding the Change Data Capture (CDC) specialist will help boost its proposition.

Shimon Alon, chairman and CEO of Attunity said of the deal: "We are excited to be joining Qlik, combining our data integration and big data management capabilities with the analytics leader to accelerate our success."

Qlik has been on something of a buying binge recently, purchasing geospatial analytics company Idevio in January 2017, and data cataloguing specialist Podium Data in July 2018.

Google to acquire Alooma

Google to acquire Alooma

Google's cloud computing division announced its intention to buy Israeli cloud migration specialist Alooma in February. Financial details were not disclosed, but for an idea of scale Alooma had raised $15 million in total funding to date, according to Crunchbase.

Alooma is already a Google Cloud Spanner data integration partner, which helps customers move their data into Google database technologies. The acquisition will help Google Cloud build out its all-important data migration options for new customers and brings new expertise into the building.

Palo Alto Networks to acquire Demisto for $560 million

Palo Alto Networks to acquire Demisto for $560 million

Palo Alto Networks announced its intention to buy Demisto, a security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) specialist for $560 million in February.

The intention will be to bring more machine learning capabilities to Palo Alto customers to improve threat prevention and detection and speed up response times to incidents. This will help the cybersecurity vendor compete with the likes of Splunk and UK upstart Darktrace.

Demisto's product encompasses everything from a chatbot for SOC teams, to automated 'playbooks' to respond to certain incidents.

Spotify stakes its claim for podcasts
© Spotify

Spotify stakes its claim for podcasts

Spotify made a pair of acquisitions in February, both focusing on podcasts: the podcast creation platform Anchor, and content creator Gimlet Media.

The terms were not announced but CNBC reported that Gimlet was being valued at $200 million pre-acquisition, and Spotify has talked about committing around $500 million in M&A spend towards podcasts this year.

Read next: Spotify stakes its claim for podcast supremacy with Gimlet and Anchor acquisitions

In a blog post titled 'Audio First', Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote: "Gimlet is one of the best content creators in the world" and "Anchor has completely reimagined the path to audio creation, enabling creation for the next generation of podcasters worldwide — 15 billion hours of content on the platform during Q4."

"Gimlet and Anchor will position us to become the leading platform for podcast creators around the world and the leading producer of podcasts," he added.

Ek continued to detail how under the Spotify umbrella these two acquisitions will allow them to "offer better discovery, data, and monetisation to creators".

"With the addition of Gimlet and Anchor, Spotify will now become the leading global podcast publisher with more shows than any other company," he concluded.

Twilio acquires SendGrid for $3 billion
© Twilio

Twilio acquires SendGrid for $3 billion

Twilio made a major acquisition at the start of the year, purchasing SendGrid for approximately $3 billion. The acquisition was announced in October last year but didn't close until February 2019.

Where Twilio specialises in cloud communications APIs, allowing companies to embed messaging and calling into their apps, SendGrid specialises in similar technology but focuses on email APIs instead.

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said of the purchase: "Effective customer engagement is a strategic imperative for every company. With SendGrid now a part of Twilio, our goal is to provide a complete platform for every form of customer engagement.

"Through our mutual developer-first approach, we empower the builders of the world to create magical customer experiences unique to every interaction."

SendGrid will continue to operate as a standalone entity within Twilio, and CEO Sameer Dholakia will continue to lead that business unit.

Dropbox acquires HelloSign for $230 million
© Dropbox

Dropbox acquires HelloSign for $230 million

Dropbox acquired HelloSign in February, an e-signature and document workflow platform, for $230 million in cash.

The purchase fits neatly into the Dropbox strategy of not just being a cloud file storage company, but to provide a digital 'hub' and help organisations streamline and digitise a lot of their business processes. Providing an e-signature capability will allow customers to, in theory, complete tasks like signing documents or contracts within a Dropbox workflow.

Read next: Box puts automation at the heart of its product vision

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said of the acquisition: "We're thrilled to welcome HelloSign's talented team to Dropbox and add their capabilities to our product suite.

"HelloSign has built a thriving business focused on esignature and document workflow products that their users love. Together, we can deliver an even better experience to Dropbox users, simplify their workflows, and expand the market we serve."

AWS acquires CloudEndure

AWS acquires CloudEndure

Amazon Web Services (AWS) got the year off to a fast start when it acquired Israeli cloud computing firm CloudEndure in January. Financial details were not announced but earlier that week Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that Amazon was looking to buy CloudEndure for $200 million.

"CloudEndure is now an AWS company. This acquisition expands our ability to deliver innovative and flexible migration, disaster recovery and backup solutions," the company tweeted.

Microsoft acquires Citus Data
© Microsoft

Microsoft acquires Citus Data

Microsoft announced that it was acquiring Citus Data in January. The startup specialises in a commercial version of the popular open-source database PostgreSQL. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

It marks yet another move into the world of open source software for Microsoft after the splashy GitHub purchase last year and a changing internal attitude towards open source. Cities will help Microsoft build out its Azure Data Services with more database options.

"Together, Microsoft and Citus Data will further unlock the power of data, enabling customers to scale complex multi-tenant SaaS applications and accelerate the time to insight with real-time analytics over billions of rows, all with the familiar PostgreSQL tools developers know and love," Microsoft announced in a blog post.

Facebook acquires Chainspace
© Facebook

Facebook acquires Chainspace

Facebook acquired UK-based blockchain startup Chainspace in February, as reported by Cheddar.

Chainspace had yet to raise money and could well be an 'acqui-hire'. It was founded by a team of researchers from University College London (UCL) and had been developing a blockchain system using smart contracts to facilitate payments. Where this fits in at Facebook is something of a mystery.

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