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Google has announced plans to acquire data analytics platform Looker in a $2.6 billion all-cash transaction.

The deal is expected to close later this year, at which point Looker will become part of Google Cloud, helping serve Google customers a more “comprehensive analytics solution,” according to a press release.

This move is consistent with Google’s recent multi-cloud strategy shift, which has included the launch of Anthos, a rebranded Google Cloud Services platform that plays nice with AWS and Azure.

“Google Cloud is being used by many of the leading organizations in the world for analytics and decision-making,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said. “The combination of Google Cloud and Looker will enable customers to harness data in new ways to drive their digital transformation. We remain committed to our multi-cloud strategy and will retain and expand Looker’s capabilities to analyze data across Clouds.”


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Big data

Founded in 2011, Looker is one of a number of platforms helping companies visualize and make sense of their vast pools of data by tapping myriad sources, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) Redshift, Google BigQuery, Snowflake, and MySQL.

Looker had raised nearly $300 million since its inception, including an $81.5 million series D round of funding back in 2017 that was led by none other than Capital G — the investment unit of Google parent company Alphabet. Given the duo’s existing cloud partnership, shared customers, and investment affiliations, today’s news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

This deal represents Kurian’s first cloud acquisition since he replaced Diane Greene back in November, but it’s the latest in a line of recent cloud announcements designed to help Google catch up with Amazon’s AWS — the clear public cloud market leader.

It’s also worth noting here that Looker raised a $103 million series E round late last year, giving it a reported valuation of $1.6 billion — a full $1 billion less than Google is shelling out for the company. The deal may be a sign of how much Google needs a leg up in the fiercely competitive cloud analytics sphere, while Looker is gaining the perfect partner to help it scale.

“Now, we’ll have greater reach, more resources, and the brightest minds in both analytics and cloud infrastructure working together to build an exciting path forward for our customers and partners,” Looker CEO Frank Bien said. “Together, we are reinventing what it means to solve business problems with data at an entirely different scale and value point.”

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