Google acquires Singapore start-up Pie

Pie, a Singapore-based business messaging start-up, has been acquired by internet giants Google.

Caesar Sengupta, vice president, Next Billion Users Team at Google confirmed the acquisition on Google’s Asia Pacific blog and said it is looking to hire more engineers. He added that this is part of Google building a new engineering team in Singapore – to get closer to the next billion users coming online from emerging markets.

Marketing has reached out to Google on more comments on the acquisition details.

Pie was founded in 2014 by Thijs Jacobs (pictured right), former BBH Asia Pacific head of creative technology, and Pieter Walraven (pictured left), former product director from BBH has launched its first office in Singapore. The idea behind the platform was to offer agencies and marketers a tool to share and discuss creative ideas with a more visual focus. The platform had an intial look and feel similar to that of Yammer.

“Our goal is to enable teams from all over the world to tap into their collective expertise. We do this by offering a social layer on top of the cloud storage services that people are already using,” Walraven had told Marketing at the time of launch.

All nine engineers from Pie will work at the Google office to develop new products. Marketing has also reached out to Pie for a statement.

Google’s Sengupta also added that the computing experience for most of first-time [Internet users], coming online in places like India, Indonesia and the Philippines, is very different and not the one that most of Google’s services were originally designed for. For many coming from these emerging markets, their main “computer” is a low-cost smartphone.

“Connectivity is expensive in relation to incomes, and frequently patchy – websites, maps and especially videos can take minutes to load and often time out. And for many, there is just not enough relevant content available in their language. These aren’t easy problems to fix, but we’d like to do a better job of addressing them,” Sengupta added.