Google to push more cloud analytics after latest $2.6bn acquisition

7 Jun 2019

Image: Looker

With Microsoft and Amazon leading the charge for cloud services, Google’s latest acquisition aims to level the playing field.

To boost its product range when selling its cloud services to potential clients, Google has announced the acquisition of US-headquartered data science firm Looker for $2.6bn, Bloomberg reports. This is the company’s biggest acquisition since it snapped up smart home tech firm Nest for $3.2bn in 2014.

Founded in 2012, Looker Data Sciences – to give it its full name – works with companies to create visualisations and analyse the data that they store in the cloud. In addition to its five US offices, it also has offices in Tokyo, London and Dublin.

In a blogpost, Looker CEO Frank Bien said that the platform will be integrated into Google Cloud’s BigQuery and associated data infrastructure.

“Together, we’ll have better reach, more resources, and the brightest minds in both analytics and cloud infrastructure,” Bien said.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said the deal will offer cloud customers “a more complete analytics solution, from ingesting data to visualising results and integrating data and insights into their daily workflows”.

The move is part of Google’s efforts to take on the might of Amazon and Microsoft, which have a strong lead over the search giant in the cloud space.

Figures show that in Q1 2019, Amazon’s cloud division – Amazon Web Services (AWS) – surpassed estimates with revenues exceeding $7.6bn, whereas Google Cloud earned approximately $2.3bn.

The decision by Google is also important in the face of tightening regulation and fears that advertisers are starting to move away from its platform following disappointing earnings in its most recent quarterly report.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Kurian noted that while Google has its own analytical tools, it was finding that many of its customers were also using Looker’s platform.

With more than 350 companies shared as customers between Google and Looker, the acquisition is set to be completed later this year, subject to regulatory approval.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic