World’s biggest electronics company, Samsung has over the past few years executed a number of key acquisitions to bolster and accelerate its expansion. Described by some as the company that wants to own everything, Samsung bought these companies with the intent of pursuing business growth and focusing on technology to meet the rising demand for products and services.
The South Korean multinational electronics headquartered in Yeongtong-gu, Suwon, South Korea is a major manufacturer of electronic components such as Lithium-ion batteries, semiconductors, image sensors, and camera modules, amongst others. It also produces popular products like the Galaxy line of smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.
Samsung has made several foreign direct investments in various countries, one of which include its plans to build a $17 billion semiconductor factory outside of Austin, Texas. The plan was announced amid a global shortage of chips used in phones, cars and other electronic devices. Other investments are targeted at meeting the increasing demand for products and services related to the ever-emerging Internet of Things (IoT). Let’s take a look at some of its notable acquisitions:
In 2014, Samsung acquired SmartThings, a home automation company. The acquisition was described as a means to move into the Internet of Things space. SmartThings is an American company that designs software applications and operates an open platform for consumers to use in the smart home. Samsung Electronics made it a part of the Samsung Open Innovation Center (OIC), an initiative responsible for bringing software and services innovation to the company.
Samsung acquired LoopPay, a mobile payments company, in 2015. Reports say this acquisition was aimed at strengthening its capacity to offer seamless, safe and reliable mobile wallet solutions. Samsung used the intellectual property of LoopPay to create Samsung Pay, a major competitor against the Apple Pay app.
In 2016, Samsung acquired Viv Labs, an artificial intelligence company. Viv is an AI and assistant system co-founded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham — who created Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010. Described as a more extensible, powerful version of Siri, Viv provides services to Samsung and its platforms.
Harman International Industries
The multi-trillion-dollar company also acquired Harman International Industries, a company that designs and engineers connected products and solutions for consumers, automobile manufacturers, and other enterprises. The acquisition which took place in 2017 was part of a plan to expand Samsung’s presence in smart audio, connected and automotive technologies
Zhilabs, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) -based network and service analytics was acquired by Samsung in 2018. The acquisition was part of a plan to further enhance its 5G capabilities. Reacting to the acquisition, the President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, Youngky Kim said “The acquisition of Zhilabs will help Samsung meet these demands to assure each subscriber receives the best possible service.”
Known as a network services provider, offering wireless engineering and consulting services, TeleWorld Solutions was purchased by Samsung in 2020. The acquisition was billed to add to Samsung’s capabilities in network infrastructure, especially in 5G. These acquisitions reflect Samsung’s investment in innovation and determination to improve its products to satisfy customers.
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