Google acquires UK’s Arie Capital-backed sound tech startup Redux

Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has quietly acquired a UK start-up focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers.

Redux developed technology that eliminates the need for small speakers in mobile phones, freeing up space for batteries or other components, the Cambridge, UK-based start-up said on its now defunct website.

It is unclear when Alphabet—via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google—acquired Redux, but the transfer of shares of Redux holding company NVF Tech Ltd. to the US tech giant was confirmed on 13 December, according to UK regulatory filings. Crunchbase said the deal happened in August.

A spokesperson for Google declined to comment on a purchase price, or other the details of the acquisition. Backed by investors including Arie Capital, Redux raised $5 million in March 2017, and concentrated on markets including computing, mobile, automotive and industrial controls. The UK company had 178 granted patents, according to its LinkedIn page.

Alphabet has a range of potential uses for the technology. Its main Google division started selling its own smartphones in 2016, so new engineering talent from Redux may help the company develop handsets with better sound. Redux’s technology could also be used create haptic feedback—which gives the sense of touch on a surface such as a screen. At the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas this week, Google is heavily promoting its voice-controlled speakers that compete with Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo device.

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Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.