Not sure about you, but I find this a very interesting question.
There have been 11 WebRTC-related acquisitions that I am aware of. 6 of them were done in the space of 2014 and we still have 3 months to go.
Out of these 11? 5 were WebRTC tool vendors or outsourcing outfits. 4 of these can be defined as WebRTC API Platforms.
As Chris pointed out, there was a bidding war involved in the acquisition of AddLive, and some of the bidders are probably still out there on the lookout for an alternative.
What did we have so far?
- TokBox got folded into Telefonica, though retained its self identity in the process
- Crocodile RCS was taken by Acision, making it a part of their new Forge platform (covered in my updated report)
- Solaiemes was acquired by Comverse, to offer APIs and service enablement to carriers
- AddLive was gobbled up by Snapchat, and practically taken off the market
I don’t see this space slowing down anytime soon. If anything, we will probably see more acquisitions before year’s end.
Who would be next to get acquired?
- A platform vendor? One of those in my report? Maybe Temasys, or SightCall (renamed from Weemo just recently)?
- Maybe an open source player with custom development chops? BlueJimp for their Jitsi Videobridge?
- Someone offering SaaS for specific task? XirSys. Maybe PubNub would go the way of GoInstant, which was acquired by SalesForce 2 years ago and closed down recently to focus on SalesForce’s own needs
- A development house, doing work for others? Someone like Blacc Spot Media?
Another interesting question is who will the buyer be?
- A carrier, like Telefonica? Maybe Comcast, which already made some initial “investment” in the Jitsi Videobridge?
- A messaging platform such as Snapchat? Whatsapp is said to be doing VoIP. Might be looking for ways to get there faster. Or some other messaging player who wants to add video capabilities – something Viber just added to its feature set
- A social network or UC vendor, who is looking to extend from asynchronous communications to a real time experience?
- Another tooling vendor, trying to enrich its offering – what Comverse did with Solaiemes & Acision with Crocodile RCS.
I don’t have the answers, but would LOVE to hear your thoughts.
Can you think who will get acquired by whom and how? Place your bets in the comments below.