Google The Gobbler

Google Casts Wide Net In Search of Next Big Deal

2014 is shaping up to be a record year of deal-making at Google. The company has pulled the trigger on more than 20 acquisitions and there’s buzz another big one will be announced soon (see below link).

Acquisitions have shaped the Google we know today (think Android, YouTube, etc.). And as Google sets its sights on new areas of growth — not to mention moon shots – its deal volume is rising.

Consider some of this year’s high profile acquisitions (in no particular order): Nest Labs, Dropcam, Skybox Imaging, Titan Aerospace, DeepMind, and Songza.

Executing on these transactions required an expansion in Google’s acquisition strategy, which was previously focused on four or five primary areas, including Android, Search, Chrome & Geo-Local.

Google now gives increased deal focus to areas like Infrastructure (which includes data centers & the cloud), YouTube, “Access and Energy,” Google X & Nest.

Don Harrison, Google’s Vice-President of Corporate Development, leads the M&A team, which finds some of its acquisition targets in traditional ways (banker meetings, venture capitalist meetings, conferences). But broadening its reach means leaning on Google’s talent-rich teams. Tony Fadell, for example, played a key role in Google’s acquisition of Dropcam. “Access” executive Craig Barratt helped out on the purchase of Titan Aerospace. Add them to a long list of others, including Sundar Pichai, Andy Rubin (Google X) and, of course, CEO Larry Page, who was active in the acquisition of Nest Labs.

With all that said, don’t be surprised to see Google continue gobbling up companies at a rate of 20 to 30 a year (not including investments in companies like Vevo & Machinima).

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