Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian at Google Cloud Next 2019

  • In the past year, Google Cloud has announced it
  • In the past year, Google Cloud has announced it will acquire the data analytics company Looker, as well as smaller companies like Alooma, Elastifile, and CloudSimple. 
  • At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference on Tuesday, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said that acquisitions are a way for the company to expand its reach.
  • Kurian also said that Google Cloud is not dependent on acquisitions to grow, but it will make acquisitions "appropriately when the time is right."
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It's been about nine months since Google Cloud announced it would acquire data analytics company Looker, the biggest acquisition by CEO Thomas Kurian. And to hear Kurian talk, it seems like he's not done shopping yet. 

At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Kurian described how vital acquisitions are to Google Cloud's overall strategy, which is focused squarely on catching up to larger rivals Microsoft and Amazon in the cloud market.

"We look at our ability to expand our reach through complementary products in the market segments we're in, and one of the benefits of scaling our direct and indirect distribution is when we acquire something, we now have a much more scaled distribution channel through which to inject the technology into market, thereby allowing us to accelerate things," Kurian said.

According to a recent filing by Google Cloud's parent company Alphabet, the $2.4 billion acquisition of Looker is almost through all of the regulatory hurdles and on track to close soon. Analysts have said the Looker acquisition is a shot at Microsoft, Amazon, and Oracle, which all have competitive offerings. 

But Google Cloud has been busy making a string of smaller, less high-profile acquisitions on Kurian's watch too.

Besides Looker, Google Cloud also announced acquisitions of the data migration startup Alooma, Alphabet's cybersecurity company Chronicle, the file storage company Elastifile, and the VMware partner CloudSimple. Most recently, Google Cloud announced it will acquire AppSheet, which makes it easier for people to build mobile apps.

Last year the company completed a total of $1 billion worth of acquisitions according to Alphabet's most recent 10-K filing, a figure that includes deals made by Google Cloud as well as other business that are part of Alphabet.

When Kurian first took the reins as CEO, analysts said he was likely to make some large acquisitions because of his background at Oracle, which makes M&A a big part of its strategy. So far, he's lived up to expectations.

Still, Kurian said, Google Cloud is not completely relying on acquisitions

"We are very focused on executing our plan," Kurian told the audience. "We're not dependent on acquisitions to grow. We've obviously shown that, and we'll make acquisitions appropriately when the time is right."

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