In keeping with our mission to provide comprehensive advertising analysis, MediaRadar puts together a report of the most important mergers and acquisitions news each week. Stay in the loop, whether you sell advertising space or focus on business development.
This week, Snap acquired more AR and 3D product modeling technology with Vertebrae. Automattic closed its acquisition of Pocket Casts. And Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack that grabbed headlines last year is finally complete.
Snap acquired Vertebrae to invest more in AR
SnapChat’s parent company, Snap Inc, has bought Vertebrae, a firm specializing in 3D product modeling and augmented reality (AR) for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition follows a string of purchases of various e-commerce and AR companies including WaveOptics, Fit Analytics and Screenshop.
This shows that the company is taking a bet on In-App AR shopping experience to continue to appeal to younger audiences who are inclined to make purchases directly from their smartphones.
In a recent report, Snap estimated that 75% of 13-69 year olds who use social applications will be frequent users of virtual/augmented reality by 2025 and they are taking the steps to capitalize on that prediction.
Automattic moves into podcasts by purchasing Pocket Casts
Automattic, the company that runs WordPress.com and, more recently, Tumblr, is jumping into the podcast fray with the acquisition of well-regarded app Pocket Casts.
Pocket Casts debuted in 2010 and then sold to a consortium of public media groups which included NPR, WNYC Studios, Chicago Public Media and This American Life several years later.
While under their leadership the app had ups and downs. It started monetizing through a program called Pocket Casts Plus but eventually lost money leading the board to decide to sell.
Under its new parent, Automattic promises “[to] explore building deep integrations [between] WordPress.com and Pocket Casts, making it easier to distribute and listen to podcasts.”
Salesforce finalized its Slack acquisition
Nearly eight months after announcing its intent to purchase Slack, software titan Salesforce has completed its acquisition of the messaging platform to the tune of $27.7 billion.
The deal adds the app to Salesforce’s Customer 360 application but will not immediately change Slack’s functionality, branding, or leadership.
The combination of Slack and Salesforce empowers both organizations in their fight against Microsoft’s dominance in the workplace. Slack has increasingly faced strong competition from Microsoft Teams as the effects of the pandemic shifted virtually every business to remote work and collaboration.
Similarly, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 business has been a challenge for Salesforce. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said, “together we’ll define the future of enterprise software, creating the digital HQ that enables every organization to deliver customer and employee success from anywhere.”
In Other News
What else is going on?
- Herman Miller Inc. has combined with longtime competitor Knoll Inc. in a $1.8 billion acquisition deal.
- Google-owned YouTube has acquired Simsim, a two-year old Indian social commerce startup that helps users discover and purchase products from local businesses through video reviews created by influencers.
- Visa announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire British payments start-up Currencycloud for £700 million ($962 million).
- Warner Music Group announced that it is acquiring independent record label 12Tone Music.
- Video conferencing platform Zoom Video Communications, Inc. announced that it is acquiring cloud contact center provider Five9, Inc. for $14.7 billion.
- LVMH-owned cosmetics retailer Sephora is making a move to acquire beauty-focused British e-commerce platform Feelunique.com in an agreement that could value the company at £132 million (~$182 million).
- According to Axios, less than four years after launching its Xandr advertising technology business, AT&T is in discussions to sell the unit to Indian advertising technology giant InMobi.
- The 111-year-old Italian luxury fashion group Ermenegildo Zegna announced that it would go public on the New York Stock Exchange later this year via a merger with Investindustrial Acquisition Corp., a (SPAC) special purpose acquisition corporation.