Having already purchased more companies in the first nine months of 2011 than in any other year of its existence, Google (GOOG) confirmed Thursday that it has acquired two more Bay Area startups.
The Mountain View Internet giant has agreed to purchase Palo Alto social-networking company Katango and San Francisco Web startup Apture to add to two of its fastest growing divisions. Purchase prices were not disclosed.
Katango, the first startup to arise from Kleiner Perkins' sFund, a $250 million venture-capital fund focused on social media, will join the Google+ social networking team. Katango's technology is similar to the Circles feature on Google+, which allows users to easily group contacts.
"Katango was founded a little over a year ago to develop social algorithms that improve people's online social interaction. We're excited to join the Google+ team and carry on fulfilling that mission. Google+ is seeing tremendous momentum, so it's a perfect time to join and make Circles smarter for millions of people," Katango announced on its website.
"Very excited to confirm that we've just acquired Katango! ... Are you ready for
some magic in your Circles? These folks are magicians," Google Vice President of Products Bradley Horowitz wrote on Google+, the social network that launched in June.
Apture was first established in 2007 and develops technology that allows for instant searches within a browser without opening a new window or tab. Apture employees will join Google's Chrome division, which works on the popular Web browser of the same name.
"After enhancing more than a billion pages with our products, we think now is the best time to expand our efforts with another team just down the road that shares our vision of making the Web better," Apture said in a statement on its website announcing the purchase.
A Google spokeswoman confirmed the purchase of Apture, saying in an emailed statement that "We were impressed by the Apture team's approach to enhancing the Web browser experience, and we think their expertise will complement the Chrome team's efforts in this area."
In a recent regulatory finding, Google revealed that it had acquired 57 companies in the first three quarters of 2011, breaking its yearly record of 48, set in 2010. That total does not count Motorola Mobility, a $12.5 billion acquisition that has yet to become official. Google spent $1.4 billion in the first nine months of 2011 acquiring other companies, with its biggest deal so far this year being the purchase of restaurant-reviews company Zagat, for which Google paid $151 million in cash.
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