Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Buys App-Marketing Software Startup Toro

February 25th, 2015

Artificial intelligence, e-commerce, augmented reality, software that controls smoke alarms—the list goes on for the types of businesses that serial acquirer Google purchased in 2014 alone.

Now add Toro, app-marketing software that targets Facebook users, to the mix. For an undisclosed price, Google has acquired Red Hot Labs, which created Toro to run ad campaigns for software developers who are trying to get users to download their apps, according to Google spokesperson Winnie King. The company will join Google’s mobile ads team, King wrote in an e-mail.

Google isn’t commenting on what exactly it plans to do with Toro or anything else Red Hot Labs has built. The acquired company said it will continue optimizing its existing customers’ ad campaigns, and has suspended creating new projects for customers.

“We recommend working with an alternative Facebook PMD [preferred marketing developer] for new campaigns going forward,” the company wrote on its blog, which was posted by founder and CEO Amitt Mahajan. “With greater resources and distribution now available at our disposal, we’re excited to join Google and continue our mission of making the lives of app developers easier.”

Before Red Hot Labs, Mahajan and other founders ran MyMiniLife, a company that Zynga bought in 2009 to gain the underlying technology for online games such as FarmVille. Red Hot Labs was founded in 2012, and received $1.5 million in seed funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, and General Catalyst Partners.

Google, which is said to have spent more than $23 billion on acquisitions since 2001, kept busy in 2014. It started off the year with a bang, buying Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, a move that gave Xconomy contributing editor Wade Roush pause. Nest Labs makes automated, programmable, WiFi-connected thermostats and smoke detectors.

In May, Google acquired Stackdriver, a two-year-old Boston-based company working on cloud-application monitoring. The search giant added Stackdriver to its cloud platform team. Google followed that by announcing the purchases of satellite imaging company Skybox Imaging and home-monitoring startup Dropcam in June. It acquired Songza, an online music streamer that matches music to your mood, in July.


Google Teams With PwC to Help Expand Software Sales

October 29th, 2014

Google Inc. (GOOGL) is teaming up with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, seeking to sell more business software via the Web as competition heats up with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and other sellers of cloud-computing tools.

PwC, a provider of corporate consulting services, will help companies adopt and manage Google’s lineup of Internet-based software, including Gmail, documents and mobile services, the companies said today. The agreement includes plans to develop applications and other tools for specific industries.

Google, which is diversifying to foster growth outside its advertising business, is seeking to boost its appeal to potential corporate customers, many of which use Microsoft’s business software, along with cloud-based services. The agreement follows Google’s rebranding of its enterprise software unit last month to Google for Work.

“We have two of the biggest brands in the world coming together with their unique strengths,” Amit Singh, president of Google for Work, said in an interview. “It’s going to make a huge difference.”

As part of the announcement, PwC said it’s adopting Google’s business applications for 45,000 employees in the U.S. and Australia. PwC counts some of the largest corporations around the world among its customer list.

The announcement follows a disruption involving some of Google’s online business software products, including Documents, Spreadsheets and Drive. The services were down for at least 4 hours from about 12 p.m. in New York yesterday. Google, which apologized for the outage, said reliability is a top concern.

Apple Inc. is also aiming to boost the number of corporate customers and unveiled a pact with International Business Machines Corp. in July to help sell its hardware to corporations.


Google Offers Sneak Peek At Latest Google Glass Software Update

April 16th, 2014

Google Glass owners have been waiting since December for what used to be monthly software updates. The wait will be over later this week.

Google offered a preview of the changes that are coming in the XE16 software update, which is due to be pushed out to Explorers later this week.

The biggest change mentioned is an upgrade to KitKat, the current version of Android software, as the underlying software that Glass will run. With it, Google says battery life will improve and Glass will be more reliable and easier to update in the future. It also means Glass developers can take advantage of the current Android developer features.

Also noteworthy is Google’s decision to drop the video calling feature from Glass. The company says fewer than 10 percent of Explorers use Glass for video calls, and the feature just isn’t up to par. It may return later, but the more likely scenario is that third-party developers will make apps that offer a similar feature.

Although the final list of updates isn’t known, Google also shared details about new features like photo bundles, photo replies in Hangouts, easier feedback from within Glass and automated sorting of voice commands.

XE16 will be released later this week.


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