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December 19, 2014

Top 5 Big Data mergers & acquisitions in December

The big data market is seeing vibrant activity.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Microsoft & HockeyApp

The software giant bought HockyApp, a mobile analytics start-up, for an undisclosed amount earlier this month.

HockeyApp, based in Germany, provides a number of mobile development and analytics services that allow developers to build, distribute, and beta test their applications.

The deal will see Microsoft integrate HockeyApp’s technology into own Application Insights service through Visual Studio Online.

Microsoft plans to release Application Insights SDKs for iOS and Android users "in the coming months," as part of its "mobile first, cloud first" approach, according to a blog post.

"Application Insights offers a 360-degree view of application usage, availability, and performance across both client and server/cloud application components," said developer division head Soma Somasegar.

"Integrating HockeyApp crash reports with Application Insights usage analytics will extend device support for Application Insights across all major mobile platforms and make application analytics an ambient part of the application development cycle with support for all tiers of a modern ‘mobile first, cloud first’ solution."

Brandwatch & PeerIndex

Brandwatch, a social media monitoring firm, this week agreed to buy analytics firm PeerIndex in a deal reported to be worth £10m. The deal closed on 16 December for an undisclosed amount, but Sky News places its value at £10m.

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The seven-year-old firm, whose 1,000 customers include Dell, PepsiCo and British Airways, provides analytics software designed to help marketers see what people are saying about their brands in social media.

The deal will see Brandwatch integrate PeerIndex’s influencer analysis technology, which includes Twitter’s author database, with its own platform.

Brandwatch, which has 300 employees worldwide, said the deal will provide marketers and other users with greater insight and "smarter decision-making".

"Content without context only goes so far, and we’re telling the world just that with our acquisition of PeerIndex," said Brandwatch’s CEO Giles Palmer in a statement.

"Understanding more about the actual people behind the conversations happening online is crucial to marketers, and this is about creating technologies that will allow them to target audience segments at scale with astonishing accuracy."

CenturyLink & Cognilytics

CenturyLink acquired Cognilytics, which provides predictive analytics and big data software to small and medium-sized enterprises, for an undisclosed amount.

"We are excited to expand CenturyLink’s IT Services, Big Data and predictive analytics capabilities through the addition of Cognilytics," said CEO and president Glen Post.

"CenturyLink’s network, IT services, cloud, managed and big data services, combined with Cognilytics’ decision sciences and advanced predictive analytics, SAP HANA expertise and big data solutions, will enable businesses to accelerate their big data adoption and monetise their data assets."

The company, which announced a partnership with Cloudera in December, also plans to make Congnilytics services available as cloud analytics applications and services for SMEs.

Cognilytics’ founder and CEO Gary Gauba will become president of CenturyLink Cognilytics and will report to Girish Varma, who is president of new market development at CenturyLink.

Teradata & RainStoor

Teradata also agreed to buy RainStor, an online data archiving firm which uses Hadoop software, this week, marking its fourth acquisition of a company specialising in big data within the year.

The deal was completed on 17 December for an undisclosed amount.

Teradata, which has over 10,000 workers, said it plans to integrate RainStor’s technologies with its own Hadoop offerings.

"The new archival capability will help customers cost-effectively and efficiently address their data archiving requirements using Hadoop," said Teradata’s president Scott Gnau.

The deal will also see Teradata take ownership of RainStor’s intellectual property, customers, OEM relationships, and the majority of its employees.

"The RainStor team is excited to add our talent and enterprise technologies to Teradata’s portfolio, which will help customers address the challenges of archiving big data," said Anthony Brooks-Williams, VP of RainStor’s Americas Sales and Services.

The deal marks Teradata’s fourth acquisition within the year. The firm bought assets from metadata management startup Revelytix and Hadapt in late July, and snapped up Think Big Analytics in September.

BBVA & Madiva Soluciones

The Spanish bank bought Madiva Soluciones, a big data start-up, for an undisclosed amount as part of it looks to increase its digital footprint in the banking sector.

Madivia, based in Madrid, uses big data analytics tools to help companies in sectors, such as banking, insurance, real estate and consulting, to process large amounts of unstructured and financial data.

The six-year-old firm claims that its services can reduce the time taken to complete certain processes, such as valuations on large properties, from months to hours.

"Big data is an area of great potential for BBVA and Madiva strengthens our capabilities from day one," said Carlos Torres Vila, head of Digital Banking at BBVA.

"Without a doubt Madiva will contribute to developing an improved offering for our clients."

The buyout follows that of US digital banking provider Simple in February. In July, BBVA also became the first global banking group to commercially launch a host card emulation-based mobile contactless payments service.

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