Internet search giant Google Inc. (GOOG) has acquired a mobile sensor startup company, Behavio for an undisclosed sum.
Behavio was founded by Nadav Aharony, Cody Sumter and Alan Gardner who developed an open source platform that simplifies mobile data collection. It develops apps, which can detect social and behavioral trends in communities.
Behavio won $355,000 from the Knight Foundation for FunF, a platform that turns Android phones into data collection "sensors". The collection of personal information could provide an early warning about disease outbreaks or provide life-saving data during an emergency. However, privacy issues will no doubt arise given that the nature of information is personal. It’s unclear now how Google will approach this, although, being open-source, any encroachments could probably be tracked.
After the acquisition, the Behavio team will be integrated into Google’s team.
According to IDC, Android led OS shipments in 2012 with 497.1 units. It also had the strongest growth rate, which at 104.1% was more than double the 46.0% growth of Apple’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iOS. Microsoft’s (MSFT - Analyst Report) Windows jumped 98.9%, albeit off a small base, while Blackberry (BBRY - Analyst Report) slumped 36.4%.
Google is quite active on the merger and acquisition front. In Feb 2013, it acquired Channel Intelligence for $125 million to boost its e-commerce business. Earlier this year, it also acquired an infrastructure startup company, Talaria Technologies to boost its cloud offerings..
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, Google’s gross revenue (including TAC) touched a record $14.4 billion, representing sequential and year-over-year increases of 2.3% and 36.2%, respectively. Excluding the $1.5 billion contribution from Motorola, revenues were up 21.9% from the year-ago quarter.
Google has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).