Global information technology (IT) companies, represented by the words "FAMGA (Facebook, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google, Apple), have actively acquired AI startups over the past decade. According to CB Insight, the number of M&A by global IT companies has tripled from 25 in 2013 to 166 in 2018. The number of acquisitions in January-August 2019 has exceeded 140, and at this rate, it is likely to exceed 2018. It's not too much to say that this is a war of arguments.
Why do they live and die? Instead of acquiring technology through in-company R&D, getting a head start with existing technology and manpower can free up resources and accelerate commercialization in a fast changing market. Enter
In fact, most outstanding products and services from global IT companies are developing through M&A. The iPhone's face authentication system, Face ID, Siri's voice recognition feature, and Google Alphago all come out with the acquisition of an AI startup. Apple acquired the face recognition technology company 'Polarose' in 2010 and 'real face' in 2017. In addition, Siri bought several startups, including Novauris Technology and Vocal IQ, to increase Siri's speech recognition level. Google & # 39; Alphago & # 39; also made possible by the acquisition of the AI parent company AI startup Deep Mind.
Another reason that global IT companies are aggressively acquiring is that M&A is the easiest way to attract talent. The acquisition of Deep Mind by Google aims to acquire AI technology, but also to naturally acquire key talents, such as founder of Demis Hersabis. Uber, a global travel sharing company, also acquired a startup called Geometric Intelligence, which was founded by Gary Marcus of New York University to secure the talent to develop autonomous driving technology.
At the time of the acquisition, the startup was less than two years old, and although no sensible product or service had yet been realized, Uber took a bold step because of Marcus's highly valued research capabilities. "It's very difficult to find good researchers in the AI industry now," said Marie Bell Lopez, an AI analyst.
M&A aggressive startups can be a good opportunity for startups with good ideas but don't have an environmental foundation like capital. "There are so many startups that have very good ideas, but it's hard to put them in the product," Lopez said. You can. "
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