Reuters reports that Alphabet Inc’s Google said on it would buy Looker, a privately held big-data analytics company, for $2.6 billion in cash, in the first major acquisition for new Google Cloud Chief Executive Thomas Kurian.
Google’s cloud computing division is a distant third globally to Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp in terms of revenue from renting infrastructure and other computing tools to businesses. But Google Cloud’s BigQuery, a tool for managing large datasets, has been among bright spots in attracting customers, according to cloud industry analysts.
Kurian told Reuters in an interview that doubling down on analytics made sense as he looked to fill gaps in his unit. Looker and Google Cloud have similar cultures and share more than 350 customers including Blue Apron Holdings Inc, and Hearst Communications Inc, he said. “When we looked at how do we broaden our portfolio, [data and analytics] is a segment where we have strength,” Kurian said. Looker is “complementary and completes our analytics foundation.”
The deal also reflects Kurian’s plan to win customers with specialized software, as rivals focus on more general tools.
Santa Cruz, California-based Looker, which was founded in 2012, employs about 800 people, has raised $281 million in venture capital and was valued at $1.6 billion in a funding round last year.
Editorial Comment: It may be questionable whether this acquisition will be approved by regulators given their renewed focus on Google.