Google in Acquisition Frenzy this Quarter

Looks like Google is in an acquisition frenzy this quarter with the company’s procurement of five up and coming small businesses between January and the first week of April. Four of these businesses come from the San Francisco Bay Area and one is based in Seattle. So far, the latest addition to Google’s expansion campaign this year are: Episodic, DocVerse, Picnik, reMail and Aardvark.

Episodic

Google’s latest acquisition this April 2nd, Episodic becomes the fifth acquisition of Google this year.

Episodic offers its users a platform for hosting on-demand and live streaming video on the Net. Episodic’s platform enables users to view live streaming videos using adaptive video playback mimicking HDTV quality without adding plug-ins. It also allows real-time analytics for monitoring viewership. Users can also monetize their video content by integrating advertisements and commerce in the platform. Content management control is also enabled for the users and any Internet capable device can accept broadcasts from the site.

Formerly owned by Noam Lovinsky, Episodic embraces Google with a team of six employees.

DocVerse

Acquired by Google on March 5th for $25M, DocVerse is the fourth on the list of new companies under its Google’s wings this year.

DocVerse makes it possible for simultaneous access and editing of Microsoft Office Documents in Excel, Power Point and MS word. This will empower Google Doc, Google’s own productivity suite, in terms of online collaborative editing.
DocVerse was founded by Shan Sinha and Alex DeNeui on 2007 and is based in San Francisco, USA.

Picnik

Purchased by Google on March 1st this year, Picnik is the Google’s 3rd acquisition this year.

Picknik is an online photo-editing service that can import photos directly from your own computer or from other websites such as Flicker, MySpace, FaceBook and Picasa Web Albums. It offers basic photo-editing tools for free and that can be upgraded to more versatile features when you subscribe to their service.

Located at downtown Seattle, Picnik is welcomed to Google with 15 employees.

reMail

Acquired by Google on February 17th, reMail is Google’s second company to adopt this year.

reMail is an e-mail application especially designed for iPhone popular for its quick text search of Gmail and IMAP accounts. reMail has announced on its blog that the application has been released as an open source program after Google’s acquisition of the company.
Founder Gabor Cselle will now join the Gmail team as its product manager.

AardVark

1st on Google’s acquisition for $50M this year, Aardvark became part of the Google enterprise on February 12.
Aardvark is an online social search service that lets your friends and their friends answer your queries. The Aardvark service is available on email, Instant Messenger, Twitter and the iPhone. Users can also use Aardvark’s site to view their answer and question history.

With more than twenty employees the company now operates under Google.

Apparently Google’s appetite for purchasing companies is not yet satiated since CEO Erich Schmidt says they are still planning to acquire at least one company per month for the rest of the year. This might offer some hope for those companies struggling to stay afloat in this difficult times.

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