All posts tagged: acquisition

Airbnb plans to use AI, including its GamePlanner acquisition, to create the ‘ultimate concierge’

Airbnb plans to use AI, including its GamePlanner acquisition, to create the ‘ultimate concierge’

In November, Airbnb acquired a stealth AI firm launched by Siri’s co-founder, called GamePlanner.AI. The deal valued the secretive startup at around $200 million, according to reports. Though the hosting company didn’t telegraph its plans for GamePlanner at the time, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky today shared a high-level overview of Airbnb’s larger plans for AI, saying that it planned to accel at the “application layer” of AI, building one of the “most innovative AI interfaces ever created.” Hyperbole aside, Chesky explained that Airbnb doesn’t see itself as an AI infrastructure company — meaning it’s not going to build its own large language models, but will rely on AI technologies from others, like OpenAI, Meta, and Google. Instead, the company believes it can create a new interface for accessing modern AI models. That’s something the GamePlanner acquisition could help with. “…Though the [AI] models are very powerful, the interface is really not an AI interface. It’s the same interface as in the 2000s,” Chesky told investors on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “It’s a typical, …

African product, global market: Expensya employees cashed out M from 2023 acquisition

African product, global market: Expensya employees cashed out $10M from 2023 acquisition

What’s more rewarding for an angel investor than paper returns in a startup? An acquisition that turns those paper returns into a cash payout while still maintaining shares in the company. “The return after dilution was eight times my investment,” said Selma Ribica in an interview with TechCrunch recently. “I kept some stock of the new entity, but a big majority was cash.” Ribica currently serves as the general partner at First Circle Capital, a venture capital firm specializing in fintech SaaS, or fintech 2.0 as she terms it. She made her angel investment in Expensya, an expense management startup based in Tunis and Paris, which was acquired last June by the private equity firm Medius for a sum over $100 million, according to sources familiar with the deal. Only a few African or Africa-focused tech companies have been acquired for more than that amount: InstaDeep to BioNTech, Sendwave to WorldRemit, DPO Group to Network International and Paystack to Stripe. Like InstaDeep, the acquisition of Expensya underscores the potential of Africa-founded products to serve global …

FromSoftware’s parent company expands portfolio with Acquire acquisition

FromSoftware’s parent company expands portfolio with Acquire acquisition

Kadokawa Corporation, the parent company of FromSoftware, has expanded its gaming portfolio by acquiring Acquire Corp., the developer behind the acclaimed Octopath Traveler series. This move, announced in Kadokawa’s recent earnings report, aims to bolster the corporation’s intellectual property creation capabilities within the gaming sector, according to a Eurogamer report. Kadokawa’s acquisition of Acquire is part of a broader strategy to enhance its game development capabilities and IP portfolio. “By acquiring the company, which has produced million-seller hit titles, we expect to generate synergies with our existing game related subsidiaries, strengthen our planning and development capabilities Groupwide, and enhance our lineup of console games,” Kadokawa stated. Founded in 1994, Acquire has made a name for itself through collaborations on notable titles, including Tenchu with FromSoftware and the Way of the Samurai series alongside Spike Chunsoft. The developer is also behind the Octopath Traveler series, a project brought to market by Square Enix that has seen considerable success. This series introduced the HD-2D visual style, a technique that has since been trademarked and adopted by Square …

HMT advises Berkshire’s Leaders Romans Group on & Co Group acquisition

HMT advises Berkshire’s Leaders Romans Group on & Co Group acquisition

Leaders Romans Group (LRG) has made a double acquisition with the purchase of both Peter Ball & Co and Alexander & Co – operating collectively as the & Co Group. The two agents combined run multiple branches across London, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, bolstering Berkshire-based LRG’s presence in areas it’s so far lacked comprehensive coverage. George Thomas, CEO of Alexander & Co, is set to leave the business after a brief transition period, after which all remaining staff will transfer to LRG. The purchase was facilitated by Oxfordshire corporate finance advisors HMT. Visit Hampshire Biz News for bright, upbeat and positive business news from the county Matthew Light, group mergers and acquisitions director at LRG, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have acquired Peter Ball and Alexander & Co.” “HMT were very helpful with this acquisition, providing finance due diligence in an efficient and timely manner.” The HMT team was led by partner Paul Read, director Corin Briault-Hutter and manager Hamish Pearson. Paul added: “We’re delighted to have supported LRG on one of their first acquisitions of 2024. …

FGP Group acquisition by Rcapital secures 200+ Dorset jobs

FGP Group acquisition by Rcapital secures 200+ Dorset jobs

Private investor Rcapital has bought Dorset-based aerospace and defence engineering business FGP Group in a move set to protect more than 200 jobs. The group comprises Weymouth precision engineering firm FGP Systems; Yeovil’s FGP Lufton, which makes parts for the aerospace sector; and Ramp Surface Coatings. Rcapital acquired the business from 126 individual shareholders in a transaction delivered via a solvent sale of the shares in FGP Systems and Heartland Engineering, Weymouth. The existing management team at FGP is to remain in place with support from Rcapital, which will work to stabilise trading and position the business for growth. Visit Hampshire Biz News for bright, upbeat and positive business news from the county Sam Duberley, investment manager at Rcapital, said: “FGP Group is a solid business which boasts a number of blue chip clients and has a role in several key aerospace projects. “Rcapital has an extremely strong track record in the sector and FGP Group complements a number of our other investments. “We’re looking forward to working with the management team to strengthen the business and …

Was HPE’s B Juniper acquisition a wise move?

Was HPE’s $14B Juniper acquisition a wise move?

When HPE announced its intention to acquire Juniper Networks for $14 billion in cold, hard cash earlier this month, it was a bit of a shock. Sure, HP had already bought Aruba in 2015 for around $3 billion. Grabbing another networking company would presumably just add another layer to that business. Of course, there are always complications incorporating one large organization into another, and HP doesn’t exactly have the best record for being a smooth operator where that’s concerned over the years. But surprisingly, the companies didn’t position this conscious coupling as a pure networking play. In fact, in a blog post announcing the deal, Juniper CEO Rami Rahim suggested it was more about AI. “This combination with HPE is expected to enable us to deliver more comprehensive, more competitive, truly end-to-end experience-first AI-native solutions,” he wrote. Regardless of how you position it, the deal, which pays $40 a share, or a 32% premium over the closing price on January 8 (per CNBC), represented the kind of offer that was hard for Juniper to refuse. …

Microsaic Systems completes Modern Water acquisition

Microsaic Systems completes Modern Water acquisition

Surrey-based tech firm Microsaic Systems, which develops spectrometers and provides other system solutions, reported that it has now completed its previously reported acquisition of the Modern Water assets and the Microtox water testing business previously owned by DeepVerge plc. “This concludes our recent corporate activity to recapitalise Microsaic on an enlarged basis by integrating the Modern Water Microtox water testing business,” said Bob Moore, the acting executive chairman at the Woking-based firm. READ MORE: Microsaic Systems granted exclusivity period as it updates on proposed Modern Water acquisition “We are now in the process of installing the acquired equipment in newly leased and lower cost laboratory space in York, England. “We intend to restart sales and manufacture of water testing reagents as soon as reasonably practicable, to meet continuing demand from the installed base of Microtox users. Moore continued in the stock market statement: “Additionally, we remain focused on supplying and servicing to customers operating Microsaic’s mass spectrometry units, through our existing outsourced manufacturing partner and a newly appointed outsourced servicing partner. “We are committed to …

Pagham poised for 106 new homes after Bargate acquisition

Pagham poised for 106 new homes after Bargate acquisition

Pagham in West Sussex is poised for 106 new homes after Hampshire-based developer Bargate Homes acquired a 4.19 hectare site with outline planning permission, off Pagham road in the village. Bargate Homes will now prepare a reserved matters application for a collection of high EPC-rated one-to four-bedroom homes designed by Thrive Architects – 30% of which will be allocated as affordable housing. READ MORE: Flude completes sale of Hove mixed use property “This site provides an excellent opportunity to create over 100 wonderful family homes, and is another significant land acquisition to add to our portfolio,” said Steve Birch, land and planning director at Bargate Homes. “We would like to thank the teams at Hallam Land and Henry Adams for their help and cooperation with this site, as well as our legal advisers at Lester Aldridge who have helped us with this acquisition.” “This site will be an exemplary energy efficient development, which will be constructed and delivered to the highest quality,” he added. The site in the Arun district was purchased from Hallam Land …

Luko’s acquisition won’t make everyone happy, but the insurtech will live on

Luko’s acquisition won’t make everyone happy, but the insurtech will live on

Allianz Direct, a digital-first German subsidiary of the insurance giant, has acquired the French home insurance business of ailing insurtech Luko for €4.3 million (around $4.65 million). This was both expected and unexpected: The two companies were hoping to get the green light on a deal in November. But that didn’t happen, and Luko’s parent company instead went under judicial reorganization, a procedure that meant it needed to urgently find a buyer whose offer would meet the court’s requirements. For a while, many options were back on the table, including not-so-great ones — until this week. A happy ending of sorts? Not quite. After all, Luko had ambitions to become a European insurtech unicorn on its own, and maybe it’s now paying the price for it. But there’s also relief for some in knowing that the company won’t be sold for parts after all — and the business unit that will live on is arguably what it should have stuck to all along. Yo-yo pricing Luko was mostly known for offering digital home insurance in …

Chronosphere acquires Calyptia to extend its observability platform

Chronosphere acquires Calyptia to extend its observability platform

Chronosphere, a startup that offers a cloud native observability platform, today announced that it has acquired Calyptia. While the company itself may not be a household name, Calyptia was founded by the creators of the Fluent Ecosystem, which includes the popular open-source observability projects like data collector Fluentd and metrics processor and forwarder Fluent Bit, both of which are part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s set of graduated projects. Like similar startups, Calyptia aimed to turn these projects into paid SaaS products. The team raised a $5 million seed round in 2022, led by Sierra Ventures and Carbide Ventures. Chronosphere and Calyptia did not disclose the price of today’s acquisition, but we’ve seen a lot of similar acquisitions in recent months where well-funded end-to-end platforms like Chronosphere acquire point solutions like Calyptia as enterprises now increasingly look to consolidate their expenses. Just last week, Chronosphere announced a $5 million strategic investment from CrowdStrike at a valuation of $1.6 billion, bringing the company’s total funding to date to almost $350 million. “With observability data growing …