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February 01, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: M&A Week in Review

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

The tech market was no stranger to partnerships this busy week, so let’s look at what went down in wheelings and dealings after another successful ITEXPO (News - Alert).

Search behemoth Google took a turn in artificial intelligence with the acquisition of DeepMind, at a price of $500 million. DeepMind confirmed the acquisition, but couldn’t disclose deal terms.

According to a TechZone 360 report, DeepMind has been working on a variety of approaches to artificial intelligence and applying them to a range of potential products — an approach that likely appealed to Google (News - Alert).

Does this mean we’ll see a robotics future for Google or will this be related more to its search efforts of tomorrow? Read the full report to find out more about the speculations and forecast on this big news.

In other expansion and dealings news, music sharing site SoundCloud closed a Series D round of funding led by Institutional Venture Partners along with the Chernin Group.

This headline is a big deal for the company, because despite the fact that part of its library isn’t exactly legal, it was still able to secure funds for expansion.

In an email statement, a spokeswoman for SoundCloud said, “This investment will allow SoundCloud to grow more rapidly in product, personnel and expansion in mobile efforts.”  A blog post by IVP’s Somesh Dash and Dennis Phelps said, “Our core investment thesis for SoundCloud is centered around our belief that SoundCloud will become the dominant online digital delivery platform for audio in much the same way that YouTube (News - Alert) has become the dominant online platform for video.”

So, with the new bit of cashflow, does this mean SoundCloud will pony up some dough to license its music? Read more to find out.

In other investment news, Voxeet, which offers conferencing services for businesses, has received $1.5 million in seed-round funding.

Founded in 2009, Voxveet offers conference calling with clear 3D HD audio, intuitive interfaces and one-click transfers between devices. It also provides HD audio and sound algorithms which users will see have lower background noise and echo, as well as no talk-over.

"We're gratified that these investors share our vision that there is still a lot of room for innovation in audio conferencing," company CEO and founder Stephane Giraudie said in a statement. "People who use Voxeet tell us that our simplified approach of click and connect, combined with unsurpassed audio quality, are things they have long yearned for after straining to hear and understand participants in conference calls on services from other providers."

So, what’s ahead for Voxveet? Read the full report to find out more.

That’s it for this week’s Wheelings and Dealings news roundup. Watch this space closely for more M&A news as it happens.



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