For most, it’s probably the famous Google.com we all know so well. This is reasonable considering 2.3 million Google searches are performed per minute – making it the most-visited website worldwide.
Since its publishing, in August 2004, Google has made a substantial name for itself. A name so big, the company decided it needed a parent company.
In 2015 Google had all acquired businesses organized under Alphabet, Inc.
The parent company is currently administered by Larry Page (Google’s founder and current CEO) and Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google.). In 2016 Alphabet Inc.’s revenue skyrocketed to nearly $90 billion thanks to Google and its affiliates.
Those numbers weren’t just temporary either. In 2018 Google reported a whopping $97.1 billion in revenue from January to September. Together, Google and Alphabet own over 200 companies.
And it doesn’t stop there; by implementing Google’s aggressive acquisition strategy, the companies continue to grow.
(This list contains only a fraction of Google’s companies)
• Google Chrome
• Google Drive
• Google Maps
• Google Play
Adsense acts as Google’s web vendor for advertising to non-Google websites. Companies seeking to display Google ads on their websites pay a fee and in return, Google provides images, text, videos, and interactive media. Adsense is part of Google Network Members’ properties. In recent years, it has generated almost 25% of Google’s income.
• Revenue in 2016 – $15.6 billion
• Revenue in 2017 – $17.59 billion
In 2005, Larry Page came across the Android platform. Though it was struggling, he saw the OS’s potential. Google discreetly acquired Android for $50 million and today, the operating system dominates the global smartphone market.
Android controls over 85% of the smartphone market, leaving its iPhone competitor with a (not so impressive) 11% market share.
DoubleClick offers advertising services to online publishers. It helps generate revenues by targeting customers and centering attention on specific advertiser’s pages.
DoubleClick can also provide publishers with online traffic reports, showing the duration of each visitor’s session on their site, per page. Google acquired DoubleClick in March 2008 and in 2017 DoubleClick generated over $30.6 billion in revenue.
Talk about a successful investment.
In 2008 Google released Google Chrome, which is a free internet browser; more than 2 billion installs have been reported since. Google Chrome dominates over half of both mobile and internet browser usage.
With around 800 million users registered in 2017, Google Drive is an extremely popular cloud storage app.
• Safely store files
• Access files anywhere
• Enable offline file viewing
• Access videos and pictures from Google Photos
• Easily share folders and files
Google Maps is a free-to-use app with an impressive user base of over 1 billion. It has been reported as the preferred navigation app for almost 80% of Android phone users and almost 70% of iPhone users.
Google Maps allows users to search for any location around the world. Businesses pay to have their corporate logos placed directly on the app. This ensures potential customers can easily locate these companies.
Google Play was launched in 2012. Android OS features Google Play as its official app store. Google and Android have combined all their games, music, apps, books, and movies in one place, giving Google Play users a selection of over 40 million songs and 1.5 million apps.
The Play store selection covers a wide range of entertainment. Some apps are free, while others require a one-time fee to download.
In 2006 Google acquired YouTube for $1.6 billion. YouTube is the world’s third most frequented website– after Google (number one) and Facebook (number two.)An ad tracking agency, known as Omnicore, reported 1.9 billion monthly users. YouTube holds the title of the most popular video hosting service on the web.
A reported 5 billion videos are viewed daily, with each YouTube user spending an average of 40 minutes per video-streaming session.
YouTube introduced YouTube TV in 2017. This subscription service is only available in certain markets and costs users a monthly fee of $35. YouTube TV has around 300,000 paying subscribers. YouTube’s revenue is derived from sponsored content and video advertising. In 2017, YouTube generated $9 billion from advertising.
Most of these Google-owned companies’ revenue comes from service fees, hardware, in-app purchases, app sales, licensing fees, digital content products, and advertising. Google has come a long way since its “BackRub” days. Google, along with Alphabet, Inc., reported a market cap of $650 billion, making the dynamic duo a no-brainer stock for investors.
Google branched out into the cable company world with its company, Google Fiber, which launched in Kansas City in 2012 and has expanded to more than 15 other cities. Fiber offers TV, phone service, and of course, extremely high-fast internet service.
Interestingly, some sources say that Google’s founders have lost their interest in Fiber, and are scaling back the company. They have even pulled their services out of Louisville, Kentucky – so this is a new Google company that might be going the way of Google +.
You might have a Nest thermostat in your home, but I bet you didn’t know that the company was bought by Google in 2014. Nest was originally a sensor-driven, WiFi-enabled learning thermostat device (the device adapts based on your choices) that you can program from your smartphone.
Now, Nest offers a line of security cameras and smoke and carbon dioxide detectors as well. Google purchased Nest for $3.2 billion and made a smart investment in this smart device.
Unless you’re in the business intelligence software or data analytics fields, you may not have heard of Looker. Google believes that they’re a major player in the software field and snatched up the company. Looker’s software takes programming queries and changes them to read more like natural languages (like English). Google bought Looker for $2.6 billion in February 2020.
Google purchased Waze, the crowd-sourced navigation app, in 2013. At the time, Google Maps was already seven years old. Google saw buying Waze as a way to eliminate the competition, and they recognized the value in the traffic-updating features of the app. In 2018, Waze reached nearly 100 million monthly active users – another super smart investment. Google bought Waze for $966 million.
Google dug deeper into the hardware world with its purchase of Pointy. The Pointy tech product helps business owners sell more items online and in their stores. After the user purchases a Pointy box, they plugs it into their barcode scanner and it creates a Pointy page of the product. This helps their store appear on search engines like Google. Google purchased Pointy in 2020 for $163 million and is helping brick-and-mortar store owners establish their presence with this technology.
If you’re not a software guru, then you probably haven’t heard of AppSheet, which is a leader in the no-code software movement. Google acquired AppSheet for one very important reason: to use the app’s software to work with Google Cloud. Google Cloud is trying to change the application development space so that it’s not so heavily reliant on complicated coding, and AppSheet is helping achieve that goal. The price that Google paid for AppSheet in early 2020 was not released, so this wasn’t just a no-code acquisition – it was a no-details shared purchase, too.
In 2019, Google acquired the fitness giant Fitbit for $2.1 billion in a massive investment move. Fitbit was a majorly successful company, and it makes sense that Google, which has been so invested in technology you can wear (like Google glasses) would want to take over Fitbit. There has been discussion of Google harvesting Fitbit wearers’ data so that it can build more accurate profiles for advertising reasons. However, Google has denied acquiring Fitbit for this reason. It’s undeniable that the tech world is looking to expand more and more into healthcare, and Google is doing just that with its Fitbit acquisition.
Socratic is a homework helper app that Google purchased in 2018. The app includes a feature where users (students) could take a picture of a problem and receive an instant explanation. This is mostly useful in math, but Socratic also provides homework help in subjects like science, literature, social studies, and more. Google also didn’t share details of the cost of this acquisition, but it was an insightful move into the education space. Now, with the power of Google, the app uses AI technology to help users.
Google has been expanding its cloud services, and the purchase of Elastifile in 2019 helped it do so even more efficiently. Elastifile provides enterprise file storage for the cloud that is scalable. Because many people are now working from home and depending on cloud solutions to access their work files, cloud storage has become even more important than Google could have predicted in 2019. Google did not release the financial details of the Elastifile acquisition.
Another move Google made into the cloud world was its purchase of Alooma in 2019. Alooma is a leader in data migration. The business helps enterprise companies streamline database migration in the cloud.
Alooma uses an innovative data pipeline tool that enables them to move data from multiple sources into a single data warehouse. Pretty efficient and definitely valuable – just what Google loves. Alooma helps Google Cloud work more efficiently to provide its services to customers. Again, Google didn’t share just how much acquiring Alooma cost them.
Launchkit is a company that makes a toolkit for mobile app development. The purpose of the company was to make developing mobile apps easier and contained a variety of tools like Screenshot Builder, App Website Builder, Review Monitor, and Sales Reporter. The goal of the purchase was to spur new innovation and tools developers can use to build Android apps. The financial details of Google’s purchase of Launchkit were not shared either.
When Google acquired Lift Labs in 2014, they also acquired the divisions of that company, including the research organization Verily Life Sciences. The company works on solutions that combine devices, software, medicine and professional care. They focus on helping people with diabetes manage the disease. Verily has worked on developing a variety of products in the past, but some sources say that they are currently working on fighting coronavirus.
GV, originally Google Ventures, is the branch of Alphabet that invests in start-ups at the early stages. They have invested in Uber, Lime, and Slack. If you’re interested in the cutting edge of tech, keep an eye on GV’s investments.
In 2014 Google acquired DeepMind, which focuses on artificial intelligence research. DeepMind has worked with Google on its existing products like search. Fun fact: the DeepMind AI can teach itself how to play arcade games and can play board games against humans – now that’s a game where I already know my bet!
Waymo is Google’s self-driving car project, which began out of X, an R&D company owned by Google. In December 2016, it became its own business. Waymo has partnered with Lyft on a self-driving ride service in the Phoenix area. Waymo has been at work for a long time in the self-driving world, and its ultimate profitability remains to be seen.
Project Wing is another company that was born at the Google R&D company X. This company is a drone delivery service – so, if it becomes available in your area, you can have Project Wing bring you wings! Sources do say that the company enforces harsh working conditions, and the project leader, Dave Vos, left in 2016. Whether or not drone delivery is the way of the future is up in the air – get it? But it could solve some unique problems!
Pixel is Google’s attempt to enter the smartphone world. The Pixel phone launched in 2016 and was marketed to everyday consumers. Pixel offers a line of products that go beyond smartphones (primarily laptops) and offers itself as a good alternative in a market that’s almost been monopolized by Samsung and Apple.
Calico is an abbreviation of the California Life Company. Established in 2013, this company is mainly concerned with combating aging-related diseases, and has even been said to have the mission of “curing death.” Google’s acquisition of Calico helped establish the company in the
Google also owns Sidewalk Labs, a company with a mission to improve urban living by addressing problems like energy usage, transportation, and pollution. The company works on designing neighborhoods and developing new products – it sounds like it’s right up Alphabet Alley!
There’s no doubt about it: Google is everywhere, and in many cases, it’s a good thing. The company is hugely profitable and calling it just an advertising company (even though that is where the majority of its revenue comes from) is majorly misleading. Whether it’s hardware or software, healthcare, or transportation, Google has an interest in it.