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Google’s Irish Purchase Points the Way

Google has a stated intent now to make a strategic purchase at least once a month. Last week it was an Anglo-Irish purchase developed by two postgraduate students, one from Dublin, who are based in Oxford. Interesting as the Google founders were themselves Stanford postdoctoral students when they developed the original Google application.

The company is called Plink, which is the maker of the popular visual search app for Android called PlinkArt (which won the Android developers competition a few months ago) and has only been in existence a few months. The application allows mobile users to take a picture of any piece of art and it automatically conducts a search and produces a result, and will now be part of their visual search development.

Google of course has made several high-profile purchases in the last 5-6 years including Blogger, DoubleClick and YouTube but it is the recent smaller start-ups that give some idea of the direction the company is going in. These include AdMob in 2009 (mobile advertising), Postini in 2007 (email security) not to mention Android itself. Obviously the company doesn’t believe that organic growth in itself will be enough as many of the internal (intrapreneurship) developments have yet to drive any significant revenue growth. In creating a Venture Fund Google follows in the footsteps of other companies such as Intel and Nokia.

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