Plenty of big-name companies showed interest in the mobile app space this past year, with acquisitions that are indicative of where the mobile market is geared for the year to come. Here are five of the biggest mobile
app acquisitions of 2013.
1. Google bought Waze for $966 million
Google announced last summer that it purchased the Israeli mapping service, Waze. The technology provided by the Android-based Google service is inherently similar to the features present in Waze’s app – but there are a few take-aways that Google could implement. Waze sparks more user engagement by providing options for accident reporting, police spottings, speed cameras and detours, suggesting that perhaps Google wants to make its Android-based map service more interactive.
2. Athenahealth acquired Epocrates for $293 million
Athenahealth is a medical claims/payments processing company, presumably acquiring Epocrates as a step in expanding their electronic medical records services. The addition was also meant as a measure to improve their branding success, being that Epocrates is a high-profile app amongst physicians.
3. Under Armour purchased MapMyFitness for $150 million
MapMyFitness empowers one of the largest digital fitness communities in the world via its various websites and the mobile applications, MapMyRun and MapMyRide. Under Armour announced the acquisition in November of last year, hoping to unite the community with its brand and utilize the metrics provided by user participation to innovate and improve future fitness products.
4. Facebook bought Onavo for $120 million
Google isn’t the only company with new interest in Israel. Facebook announced its acquisition of the Tel Aviv-based company Onavo in early Fall. Onavo originally garnered attention from investors like Motorola and Sequoia for its two-part mobile business: one being a consumer-facing application that heightens device performance, the other comprised of analytics tools for mobile producers to chart the performance of their apps against competitors. Facebook has been focusing on the mobile aspect of its business for a while, so Onavo’s technology so prove useful in that regard.
5. Embark, Locationary, HopStop – acquired by Apple for a mystery fee.
Apple went on a map-shopping binge in 2013. Considering most iPhone users still use Google Maps as their smartphone’s GPS, we sort of understand why. Most of the technology involved in the apps they acquired have a heavy involvement in public transit – Embark helped users navigate their city’s public transport, and HopStop put considerable emphasis on bus, train, taxi, subway, walking and biking directions. Higher ups at Apple and the acquired companies were mum about the costs involved.