Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Deals in Media & Tech - February 2018

Each month I look at the biggest and most interesting deals in media and technology.  I think that these deals give a really good steer to the future plans of these companies, including a possible glimpse of future services.

February was quite a quiet month for deals, but arguably the best was saved for the end - Amazon's purchase of Ring, the smart door lock company.

Amazon & Ring
This deal has the potential to solve the oldest problem in eCommerce - what to do if you are out when the delivery man calls.  Ring makes a smart door lock that allows the owner to let visitors in remotely, either if they are 3 stories up in their apartment, or nowhere near their home.

It will allow Amazon to extend their 'Amazon Key' service, announced last year, that would essentially do the same thing, but without the reach and brand name of Ring.  As a home owner, you could give Amazon the right to enter your property (the device would either use a scanned code or - maybe - face recognition), and even put fresh produce into the fridge.

Amazon has also announced plans to launch a stand-alone delivery business, competing with people like DHL.  This will give them an enormous competitive advantage.

Looking a few years ahead, given Amazon's interest in health care, it could also be the means by which doctors or carers get access to the home.

At an estimated billion dollars, it's Amazon's second biggest deal, reinforcing how potentially game-changing this is.

Bosch & SPLT
SPLT is a B2B ride-sharing service, and by buying it Bosch gets more credibility in 'mobility' space, which it already dabbles in via COUP, its scooter rental business in Berlin, Paris and Madrid.  It's part of the trend of manufacturers trying to move into services.  Maybe, like Dyson, Bosch has plans to make its own electric vehicles?  It just shows how demarcations and boundaries between different industries are breaking down.

Niantic & Escher
We didn't hear a great deal about Pokemon Go maker Niantic last year, but 2018 looks to be a very busy year, with the launch of a new Harry Potter game.  The purchase of Escher reportedly gives them access to technology that makes AR objects more 'permanent' between different users (if I move a table, you also see it in its new place) which will add interesting possibilities to multi-player games.  

Amex & Mezi
Bots haven't really set the world alight, but there are still lots of companies using them, and trying to make ones that are useful.  Mezi already supplies the tech behind Amex's 'AskAmex' personal concierge, so their purchase must surely be a vote of confidence and a sign of the importance Amex sees in the project.  

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails