Google in acquisition mode, to buy social tech firm Slide

Google in acquisition mode, to buy social tech firm Slide

New York: Internet titan Google, which is on an acquisition spree, said it will buy San Fransisco-based social technology firm Slide for an undisclosed amount.

Slide will be Google’s 23rd buyout this year so far. As per the company’s recent quarterly filing with the SEC, Google acquired 20 companies in the first half of the year. It also bought two firms, ITA Software and Metaweb Technologies, in the month of July.

“We’re excited to announce we’ve acquired Slide, a social technology company with an extensive history of building new ways for people to connect with others across numerous platforms online," Google engineering director David Glazer said in a blog.

The company did not disclose any financial details of the deal. However, a technology blog, Tech Crunch, last week reported the deal value at $228 million.

According to the Tech Crunch, along with the $182 million purchase price, Google has agreed to pay an additional $46 million in employee retention bonuses, taking the total deal size to $228 million.

Google will buy five-year-old Slide, which develops virtual community applications such as SuperPoke and FunSpace used on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, among others, in order to bolster its social networking capabilities.

Slide was launched by Max Levchin, who also co-founded the PayPal online financial transactions service.

Levchin said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for the two companies to come together to change the way people socialise on the web."

Google said that it will invest even more to add social networking features to its services in addition to Gmail, Docs, Blogger, Picasa and YouTube, which already have strong social elements.

“As the Slide team joins Google, we’ll be investing even more to make Google services socially aware and expand these capabilities for our users across the web," Glazer added.

The company also expects to benefit from Slide’s vision of building communities that fuel the creation and distribution of virtual goods -- a market that is forecast to touch at least $1.6 billion in the US this year.

As part of its expansion plans, the company last month bought two firms. While Google acquired ITA Software, a flight information software company, for $700 million in cash, it purchased Metaweb Technologies, an Internet information database start-up, for an undisclosed amount.