Acquired - Technology Acquisitions & IPOs
By Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
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We tell the stories behind the deals. What lessons do they hold for where tech is heading, and why? We dive in.
||CleanSeason 2, Episode 3: Nest||Acquired brings it all back home—to the smart home that is—with Google’s 2014 acquisition of Nest for $3.2B.||2/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSeason 2, Episode 2: Raising a Seed Round with Against Gravity CEO Nick Fajt||We launch mini-series on Acquired with a subject near & dear to our hearts: startup fundraising! Against Gravity CEO Nick Fajt tells the story of raising their $4m seed led by Sequoia Capital in 2016. We had a blast touching on many classic Acquired the||2/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSeason 2, Episode 1: Zappos (with Alfred Lin)||Former Zappos Chairman & COO (and current Partner at Sequoia Capital) Alfred Lin joins our heroes to kick off Season 2 with a classic: Amazon’s 2009 acquisition of the internet’s quirkiest online retailer for $1.2B in stock. How did three Harvard un||1/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAnnouncement: San Francisco Happy Hour||Join us on Tuesday, January 16th at 5:30 in San Francisco for the Acquired Listener Happy Hour! Find out more and RSVP here: http://bit.ly/acquiredhh||1/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 51: 2017 Holiday Special||Acquired cozies up to the fire and looks back on the year in tech. How wildly off were we on last year’s predictions? What does the next year have in store? Most importantly, what price will Bitcoin be trading at in December 2018??? Pour yourself a gl||12/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 50: Apple - Beats||Acquired crosses the half-century mark with an instant classic: Apple’s 2014 purchase of Beats, its largest acquisition ever. If you knew Beats as just another headphone company, think again—the history on this one will keep your heads ringin’.||12/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 49: The Stitch Fix IPO||Ben and David dive into the most talked-about tech IPO of 4Q 2017: Stitch Fix. After downsizing the offering and pricing below the range, does this signal a warning that public markets won’t value high-flying silicon valley “disruptors” as high as||12/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 48: Qualcomm - Broadcom||Ben & David cover the proposed largest tech M&A deal of all time, and in the process dive into the evolving dynamics of the industry that started everything in Silicon Valley—silicon. Just when VCs thought innovation was dead in semiconductors, a new||11/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 47: The Atlassian IPO||Ben & David venture to the land down under (and reunite in-person!) to tell the story of the granddaddy of all bootstrapped tech success stories, collaboration software company Atlassian. How did two plucky college grads from Sydney, Australia go from j||11/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 46: Blue Bottle Coffee||Today our heroes cover a deal that might have more impact on life in Silicon Valley than AI, wearables and AR/VR combined… Nestle’s acquisition of Blue Bottle Coffee. Will hipster entrepreneurs and the VCs who love/need them continue to line up arou||10/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 45: HTC, Google and the Future of Mobile||Acquired is back and live on the scene! After months of speculation, Google announces today their acquisition (err, "Cooperation Agreement”) of a large portion of HTC’s hardware division. What does this mean for the future of mobile? Can Google tran||9/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 44: AOL - Time Warner (with the Internet History Podcast)||On this extra-long episode of Acquired, Brian McCullough from the Internet History Podcast returns to discuss perhaps the most (in)famous merger of all time: AOL - Time Warner. Who doesn’t remember the soothing sounds of 56k modems and the timeless ph||9/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 43: The Square IPO||Unicorns and ratchets and lawsuits, oh my! Our heroes dive into the history of Jack Dorsey’s famous “other” company, Square. Was the Square IPO a canary in the coal mine signaling doom & gloom for the so-called unicorn companies of the early 2010||8/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 42: Opsware (with special guest Michel Feaster)||Acquired dives into the legendary acquisition of Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen’s “second act” software company Opsware, from a perspective never before heard—HP’s side of the story! Our heroes are joined by Michel Feaster, who led both the ac||8/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 41: Booking.com with Jetsetter & Room 77 CEO Drew Patterson||Acquired trains its lens on the “second or third best acquisition of all-time”, Priceline’s 2005 purchase of Booking.com. Our heroes are joined by friend-of-the-show and former Jetsetter & Room 77 CEO Drew Patterson to help understand how this lit||7/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 40: Activision Blizzard||Ben & David cover the creation of the gaming world’s equivalent of the 70’s rock supergroup: the 2008 merger of Blizzard and Activision. We tell the story from the Blizzard perspective, tracing the history of one of the most innovative companies in||7/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 39: Whole Foods Market||Ben and David cover the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods Market - how did it all go down, and why did they do it?||6/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean"About Acquired" on the Anchor Podcast of the Day||Ben and David are guests on Anchor's Podcast of the Day, discussing Acquired's origin story, show structure, and how the show gets made. If you're new to the show and looking for a primer, this is a great place to jump in!||6/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 38: SoundJam (iTunes)||Ben & David revisit the birth of the digital music revolution and Steve Jobs’ “digital hub” strategy, with Apple's 2000 acquisition of the Mac music player SoundJam MP, which would go on to become iTunes. We relive the 90’s with brushed metal interfaces, music visualizers and of course, software sold in (physical) boxes.||5/31/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 37: BAMTech, Disney and "the Biggest Media Company You've Never Heard Of”||Ben and David continue Acquired’s “tech and sports” mini-series with Disney’s 2016 acquisition of a minority stake (with the right to purchase a majority stake at a later date) in BAMTech, the internet streaming company originally founded as par||5/10/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 36: The LA Clippers||In honor of the start of NBA playoffs, Ben & David venture off the beaten path to explore one of Steve Ballmer’s most famous acquisitions, his 2014 purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise. Was this landmark purchase a steal or a turnover fo||4/23/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 35: Oculus||Ben & David transcend the barriers of “real” reality, and dive into Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s geek-eutpoia vision of the future of gaming, social, and maybe even the entire internet: strapping goofy-looking goggles to your face. Is VR for rea||4/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 34: Starbucks IPO with Dan Levitan||Ben & David "pour over" the 1992 IPO of the legendary Seattle coffee company with the help of Dan Levitan||4/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 33: Overture (with the Internet History Podcast!)||Overture, Yahoo, Google, and the history of the Search business model||3/13/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 32: The Snap Inc. IPO||Snap! Acquired is live on the scene reporting from the "Super Bowl" of 2017 tech events: Snap Inc's hugely anticipated IPO.||3/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 31: The Uber - Didi Chuxing Merger with Brad Stone, author of The Upstarts & The Everything Store||Brad Stone, Senior Executive Editor of Global Technology at Bloomberg and author of The Upstarts and The Everything Store, joins Ben & David to dive deep into the Uber-Didi saga.||2/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 30: P.A. Semi + AuthenTec||Ben & David venture into the semiconductor world, analyzing two hallmark Apple acquisitions: P.A. Semi and AuthenTec, both of which would go on to form the basis of core Apple product features in the “A” series of processors and TouchID sensors.||1/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 29: Special—2016 Review and 2017 Predictions||Ben & David wrap up 2016 with a review of the top tech themes we discussed on the show this year, and look forward to which themes we think will be relevant in the coming year. Can our hosts predict the future? Tune-in in 2018 to find out!||1/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 28: The Amazon IPO with original Amazon Board Member Tom Alberg||Ben & David welcome very special guest Tom Alberg, board member and first lead investor in Amazon.com, to cover the IPO of "earth’s most customer-centric company".||12/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 27: Special—A Conversation with Microsoft's Head of Strategic Investments Brian Schultz||Ben & David chat with Brian Schultz, the Managing Director of Strategic Investments & Corporate Development at Microsoft.||12/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 26: Marvel||Ben and David complete the Disney acquisition trilogy, covering the "house that Mickey built"'s 2009 acquisition of Marvel Entertainment.||12/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 25: The Facebook IPO||Ben and David tackle their first IPO episode, starting with the largest tech IPO of all time, Facebook.||11/11/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 24: Skype||An acquisition so wild and crazy, they had to do it again. And again. Ben & David cover tech’s perhaps most-traded asset, Skype (which also happens to be a fantastic business). How do we even know which deal to grade? Tune in to find out…||11/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 23: NeXT (Live show at the GeekWire Summit)||Ben & David broadcast live from the 2016 GeekWire Summit covering one of the all-time greats, Apple’s 1996 acquisition of NeXT. This episode has it all: the Steve Jobs hero story, Apple, I.M. Pei, Ross Perot, Aaron Sorkin, Nobel Laureates and… Gil A||10/23/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 22: Zillow + Trulia with Zillow Group CFO Kathleen Philips||CFO of Zillow Group Kathleen Philips joins Ben and David to cover the show’s first true “merger” versus “acquisition" (only took 22 episodes!), Zillow’s 2015 combination with Trulia to form Zillow Group.||10/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 21: Inside the M&A Press with Bloomberg's Alex Sherman||Ben and David go inside the M&A press with Bloomberg’s technology M&A reporter and host of the Deal of the Week Podcast, Alex Sherman. We explore how stories about big deals get broken or what “according to people familiar with the matter” really||9/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 20: Android||Ben & David examine Google’s 2005 purchase of Android for a rumored $50M, undeniably one of the best technology acquisitions of all time. But will it top the list of these tough graders? Tune in to find out.||9/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 19: Jet||Ben & David break down Jet.com’s meteoric rise, culminating in Walmart’s blockbuster $3B+ acquisition of the company just two years after its founding.||8/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 18: Special—An Acquirer’s View into M&A with Taylor Barada, head of Corp Dev at Adobe||Ben & David are joined by special guest Taylor Barada, VP and Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Adobe, to discuss how large tech acquirers approach buying companies.||8/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17: Waze||Ben and David navigate the mobile platform wars of 2012-13, avoiding speed traps en route to Waze’s destination as a $1B+ acquisition by Google.||8/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 16: Midroll + Stitcher (acquired by Scripps)||The meta show: Ben and David turn their gaze inward and examine the podcasting industry through E. W. Scripps’ recent acquisitions of the Midroll podcast advertising network and Stitcher podcast client.||7/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 15: ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce) with Scott Dorsey||Ben and David return to make their first foray into enterprise software, covering Salesforce’s $2.5B acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013 with the help of special guest and ExactTarget cofounder & CEO, Scott Dorsey.||7/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14: LinkedIn||Ben and David cover the 3-day-old acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. They cover LinkedIn’s founding story by Reid Hoffman, analyze recent stock behavior, and speculate on the future.||6/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 13: Push Pop Press (Facebook Instant Articles) with Todd Bishop||Ben and David are joined by Todd Bishop, technology reporter and co-founder of GeekWire, to discuss Facebook's 2011 acquisition of Push Pop Press.||6/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 12: Snapchat (?!)||Ben and David tackle their first failed acquisition: Facebook's 2013 offer to buy Snapchat. They cover the fascinating story of Snapchat's creation and growth, their blossoming business model, how it would be different inside of Facebook.||5/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11: PayPal||Ben and David return to technology acquisitions by examining a classic: eBay's 2002 purchase of PayPal.||5/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 10: Virgin America||Ben and David deviate entirely from the stated purpose of the show, tackling this non-technology acquisition that is so recent, we have no idea if it went well yet: the April 2016 acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Airlines||4/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 9: Writely (Google Docs)||Ben and David continue the cloud productivity saga with Google Docs. They examine the suite of acquisitions made by Google with a focus on Writely in 2006.||3/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 8: Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist (w/ Kurt DelBene)||Ben and David have special guest Kurt DelBene on to discuss Microsoft's acquisition of Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist. Kurt is the EVP of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft, and joins to discuss Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first strate||2/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7: YouTube||Ben and David test the widely-held belief that YouTube was one of the most successful tech acquisitions of all time. In today's world of next-generation video platforms, mobile video, streaming, and chord-cutting, was it actually a great purchase by Goo||2/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6: Lucasfilm||Riding closely on the tails of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ben and David cover Disney's 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm. In the episode, they mention Walt Disney's original flywheel diagram, seen below.||1/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5: Siri||In the last episode of 2015, Ben and David discuss Apple's acquisition of Siri. Notable topics include: The founding of Siri by Dag Kittlau, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Brigham Scott Forstall on the Apple side, and the end of his time at the company The oth||12/14/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4: Bungie||Ben and David are joined by Former Microsoft VP and Co-Founder of Xbox, Ed Fries, to discuss the Bungie acquisition and the development of Halo.||11/30/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3: Twitch||Ben and David discuss Amazon's acquisition of Twitch in 2014. Unlike previous episodes, this recent acquisition still has a lot of open questions, and Amazon hasn't publicly reported growth of Twitch since the purchase. Ben and David talk about Justin K||11/16/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2: Instagram||Ben and David discuss Facebook's acquisition of Instagram in 2012. Was it a success? If so, what are the criteria that made it work? What lessons can be learned for other acquisitions in the future?||11/1/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 1: Pixar||Ben and David discuss Disney's acquisition of Pixar in 2006. Was it a success? If so, what are the criteria that made it work? What lessons can be learned for other acquisitions in the future? iTunes Link||10/15/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
Well worth your time.
A fascinating sense for looking at examples of what is nearly every tech entrepreneur’s goal: acquisition.
If you are in the tech scene, this is the exact type of inside baseball that will actually help you learn more about the situation you probably hope to find yourself in someday.
Ben and David are great together. This podcast is worth your time.
There is so much good information and opinions being shared in this podcast. I highly recommend to any entrepreneur or startup investor.
🏆💰🦄 these guys dissect what the coolest tech trends are today and what the best acquirers and acquirees have been!