Google buys Big Data firm Looker to bolster cloud offering

Google Cloud has announced the acquisition of American data company Looker, as it looks to catch up to rival cloud firms. The $2.6bn cash deal was first announced in June 2019, though it has only now passed regulatory hurdles.

The Santa Cruz-based Looker was founded in 2012, and offers a platform that it claims transcends traditional business intelligence, putting it in competition with the likes of offerings from Tableau (owned by Salesforce) and Microsoft’s Power BI. Customers include the likes of Candy Crush developer King and fintech firm Avant.

Looker’s CEO Frank Bien said: “We are extremely proud to join Google Cloud following a successful four-year partnership where we got to deeply understand the cultural similarities and technology synergies between the two companies. Joining Google Cloud provides us better reach, strengthens our resources, and brings together some of the best minds in both analytics and cloud infrastructure to build an exciting path forward for our customers and partners.”

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The company’s cloud credentials were no doubt of particular interest to Google Cloud, with the platform featuring existing connections with Google Cloud Platform and Google’s Bigquery data warehouse, as well as solutions from the likes of Amazon.

Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud, said in a blog post: “Google Cloud and Looker share a common philosophy around delivering open solutions and supporting customers wherever they are—be it on Google Cloud, in other public clouds, or on premises. As more organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy, Looker customers and partners can expect continued support of all cloud data management systems like Amazon Redshift, Azure SQL, Snowflake, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and Teradata.”

The move signals Google’s intent in the cloud area, where it lags behind it’s fellow $1trn rivals, Amazon and Microsoft. In the recent quarterly results released by the companies, Google’s Q4 cloud business revenue reached $2.6bn, while Microsoft’s Q2 cloud revenue was $11.9bn.

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