Epic acquihires of the last couple years

Apple, Uber, Airbnb and Snap have all purchased companies largely for their talent

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 4, 2018
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4b7c

In the early part of this decade, acquihires were all the rage, though the pace has slowed in the last couple years, they are still a big part of many companys' strategic playbooks. 

Acquihires are deals where a buyer is largely focused on getting a startup's team and less focused on their specific products or business. 

Companies like Facebook and Google have gobbled up startups to get the best engineers and founders onto their staff. In 2013 alone Yahoo picked up 23 teams

Yahoo may have slowed down their pace since the Verizon acquisition. But these deals are still happening.

Here are some recent high profile deals which seem to have been largely acquihires:


  • Apple

Startup: Init.ai

Description: "Init.ai is a developer platform that enables its users to design and develop language conversational mobile applications"

Team members: Six, including co-founders Keith Brisson, Will Dawoodi, Kyle DeTella and Trevor McNaughton

Funding: Undisclosed

Investors: Techstars, Esther Dyson, Jim Young, Valence Ventures, Danmar Capital, Boldstart Ventures

Deal date: October, 2017


  • Uber

StartupSwipe Labs

Description: "Swipe allows the users to see the photos and videos of their friends that is not posted on Facebook"

Team members: Co-founder Marwan Roushdy

Funding: $8.2 million

Investors: Lowercase Capital, Slow Ventures, First Round Capital, Binary Capital, Sherpa Capital, Amasia, Khosla Ventures, Greylock Partners, SV Angel 

Deal date: July, 2017


  • Snap

Startup: Flite

Description: "Flite offers a programmatic creative platform to empower professional advertisers to deliver HTML5 ads that live up to the expectations of today's consumers"

Team members: Not disclosed

Funding: $55.5 million

Investors: Iris Capital, VivaKi, HWVP, Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst, Harrison Metal, Northgate Capital

Deal date: December, 2016


  • Coinbase

Startup: Memo.ai

Description: "Memo.AI creates a Slackbot for helping technical teams manage notes and instructions"

Team members: Co-founders Mircea PaČ™oi, Cristian Strat, Liana Dumitru

Funding: None

Investors: None

Deal date: January, 2018

  • Goldman Sachs

Startup: Final

Description: "Final is issuing a credit card that gives consumers total control over their merchant relationships"

Team members: A dozen engineers and product managers

Funding: $4.1 million

Investors: DRW Venture Capital, Zillionize Angel, 1776 Ventures, Kima Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, KPCB Edge, Runa Capital, T5 Capital, Canyon Creek Capital, Wei Guo, Y Combinator, Dr. E. Bora Uygun, Right Side Capital Management

Deal date: January, 2018


  • Airbnb 


Description: "ChangeCoin is a micropayment infrastructure for the Internet"

Team members: Seven engineers

Funding: $4.3 nillion

Investors: Pantera Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Plug and Play, Transmedia Capital, Boldstart Ventures, Digital Currency Group, 500 Startups, Daniel Curran, Blockchain Capital, Idealab, Upslope Ventures, Ben Davenport

Deal date: April, 2016


DataScore | We Help Startups Grow

  • Lyft


Description: "DataScore is a predictive analytics platform for data-driven marketers"

Team members: Co-founders Monica Ohara, Ismail Coskuner, and Hannah Russin

Funding: None

Investors: None

Deal date: August, 2017

(Image source: socialventurepartners.org)