1. April 2012: Facebook purchases Instagram for $1 billion
Acquisition of Instagram by Facebook five years ago was not surprising – for some time before Facebook had been working on a standalone photo app. Although the price was widely derided because of low revenue of Instagram, the deal has paid off. Now Instagram has 700 million users (while it has only 30 million before the deal). The launch of Stories in Instagram – actually a Snapchat clone, was successful enough to stop Snapchat’s user growth. Reportedly, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel declined a $3 billion offer from Facebook in 2013.
2. May 2013: Yahoo confirms acquisition of Tumblr for $1.1 billion
The Tumblr young users were horrified by the deal. Despite Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s now famous promise “not to screw it up,” the company wrote down the value of its Tumblr acquisition two times in 2016, showing failure to comply with the promise.
3. June 2013: Google agrees to buy Waze for $1.1 billion
Although Facebook and Apple were considered as potential buyers of Waze, it was Google who bought this crowdsourced location app. Introduction of technology of collective navigation app appeared to be very useful for Google.
4. August 2013: Amazon promises to pay $1.1 billion for Twitch
Like Waze, Twitch rumored to be an acquisition target, but Google was expected to win this game. Instead, Amazon became the buyer, adding Twitch to portfolio of its entertainment services.
5. September 2013: Microsoft buys Nokia’s hardware division for $7.2 billion
At that time the two companies partnered on the Windows Phone but nobody really expected this deal to be concluded. Now it is most notable for being a giant flop. In 2015 Microsoft wrote down $7.6 billion related to the acquisition. About 8,000 employees mostly in its phone business were dismissed.
6. January 2014: Google announced acquisition of Deepmind for more than $500 million
This deal was a surprise just because many people did not have a clue what is DeepMind. This artificial intelligence startup became famous for milestones like beating the top human players of Go, an infamously challenging abstract strategy board game.
7. February 2014: Rakuten enters a deal of Viber purchase for $900 million
The deal between Viber and Rakuten promised to be really impressive but a week later everybody started to follow $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook. According to Viber, its platform is used by more than 800 million users. However there is no fresh statistics so it is difficult to compare its activity with the activity of WhatsApp.
8. February 2014: Facebook announces purchase of WhatsApp for $19 billion
When the deal was confirmed, WhatsApp has over 450 million active users per month with 70 percent of them were active every day. In July Facebook announced WhatsApp had 1 billion daily users.
9. March 2014: Facebook plans to acquire Oculus Rift for $2 billion
This deal seemed a bit random – why would a social media network pay billions for a virtual reality startup? Now Facebook’s long-term strategy still looks prescient, because almost every big tech company (Samsung, Intel, HTC, Google, Qualcomm, etc) now has a VR headset.
10. October 2015: Dell agrees to buy EMC for $67 billion
Not only this is the largest tech acquisition in history so far, but most people just did not predict its conclusion. Actually Adrian McDonald, EMC’s president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said Dell’s offer was a surprise to the company, which wasn’t looking for a buyer.
11. July 2016: Microsoft agrees to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion
Despite its mind-boggling price tag, Microsoft’s deal with LinkedIn made sense because it’s been gradually building its enterprise social media strategy since buying Yammer in 2012. Reportedly Microsoft considered being close to purchase of Slack last year.
12. August 2016: Didi Chuxing confirms it agreed to buy Uber China
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick seemed to think that conquering the world’s largest Internet market would be relatively straightforward. However when Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing app, said it planned to acquire Uber’s Chinese unit to form a combined entity reportedly worth $35 billion it became a major setback for Uber.
13. January 2017: Cisco planned to acquire AppDynamics for $3.7 billion
Cisco’s announcement was unpredictable because it came just days before AppDynamics’ highly-anticipated IPO. The acquisition was a pure data play and doubled AppDynamics’ previous valuation of $1.9 billion.
14. June 2017: Amazon agrees to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion
Finalized in August, the acquisition dramatically accelerates Amazon’s grocery business and is bad news for every grocery delivery startup–as well as major retailers like Target, Walmart and Costco, which saw their shares tumble in reaction to the announcement.