While Amazon has been traditionally more conservative when it comes to acquisitions compared to other tech giants such as Google, Apple, or Facebook, it seems like this could be the year this changes. Besides the giant acquisition of Whole Foods and Souq.com to help expand their e-commerce reach in the Middle East, they’ve also been quietly acquiring smaller software tech companies to help them strengthen their cloud capabilities with AI, cybersecurity, productivity and software design.
Here’s a list of Amazon acquisitions in (so far!):
Amazon’s cloud business, AWS, quietly purchased cyber security company harvest.ai for around $19 million, according to TechCrunch. While Amazon hasn’t yet confirmed the acquisition, cybersecurity is an increasing concern for businesses, particularly as more of the global workforce turns mobile.
This acquisition sees the U.S. retail giant enter the Middle Eastern market. Amazon paid $580 million in cash for Souq, according to filings. The two companies have completed an integration that allows customers to log into Souq.com using their Amazon account credentials. Next up, they plan to integrate products and services between the two sites to leverage their respective scale.
Whole Foods Market
Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, a bombshell of a deal that catapulted the e-commerce giant into hundreds of physical stores and fulfills their long-held goal of selling more groceries. The acquisition sent shockwaves across both the online and brick-and-mortar industries.
Amazon’s cloud division reportedly quietly acquired a company called GameSparks, a “backend as a service” for game developers to build various features like leaderboards into games, and then manage them, all in the cloud. According to documents from deal analytics firm PitchBook, the acquisition price was $10 million.
Amazon quietly acquired this company in May to help make Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa smarter, the Los Angeles Times reported. Graphiq, according to its website, lets users search on a topic and get complex sets of data on that subject, presented in easily digestible charts. When combined with Alexa, this technology could help Amazon’s improve their ability to know what people want, and how to get it to them as cheaply as possible.
AWS made this acquisition to add more productivity tools for its customers beyond basic cloud-computing services. Thinkbox Software develops and sells solutions for media design and content creation aimed at people in the video and wider visual media industries. Thinkbox’s software can work with cloud infrastructure, as well as companies’ on-premises data center infrastructure, but obviously AWS is keen to improve the experience for running big processing jobs in its cloud.
Amazon made one more acquisition to build out the productivity services on its cloud platform AWS. Do.com is a startup that had built a platform to make meetings more productive by doing things like managing notes in preparation for them, and creating reports for those who were not there, as well as organising the meetings themselves. Amazon is rolling it into Chime, a new communications suite for businesses that it launched last month and offers via AWS.