Google to buy analytics software firm Looker for US$2.6 bln

Google logo is displayed outside the company offices in New York

Google said Thursday it was buying data analytics startup Looker in a move aimed at bolstering its cloud services for business.

Google Cloud lags behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in a sector that is booming as streaming video and other on-demand online services grow.

"The combination of Looker and Google Cloud advances the mission that we undertook from the beginning - to empower humans through the smarter use of data", Looker CEO Frank Bien said. Looker had raised a total of $280.5 million from investors including CapitalG, Google's own in-house late-stage investment arm, according to Crunchbase.

Kurian told Reuters in an interview that doubling down on analytics made sense as he looked to fill gaps in his unit.

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The deal also reflects Kurian's plan to win customers with specialised software, as rivals focus on more general tools.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian speaks at Google Cloud Next 2019. The acquisition of Looker is expected to be completed later this year, subject to regulatory approval.

"During the past seven years, Looker has evolved to become the business intelligence platform for the modern business, that sits atop the next-generation data warehouses like BigQuery, Snowflake and RedShift", wrote Tomas Tunguz, a venture capitalist with Redpoint and an early investor in Looker, in a blog post. Adding Looker to Google cloud will provide customers with a "more comprehensive analytics solution", Google said in a statement, "from ingesting and integrating data to gain insights, to embedded analytics and visualizations - enabling enterprises to leverage the power of analytics, machine learning and AI".

Google Cloud has been widely used by many leading enterprises and organisations in the world for analytics and decision-making, Xinhua news agency reported.

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