The Smartest Tech Startup Acquisitions Ever

Innovative new tech companies are regularly gobbled up by larger competitors, or even just other companies that are looking to add on a new product, feature or offering but don't want to build it from scratch in-house. Large companies - and even some smaller companies with a lot of cash on hand or valuable stock - can have a variety of reasons for purchasing a new startup or competitor, Sometimes, the acquisition is largely about the talent behind a new product. Other times, the goal is to eliminate a competitor from the market and consolidate the audience in one place. Often, these acquisitions end with the smaller, acquired company completely disappearing inside the parent organization, and even the initial product that spurned the purchase disappearing along with the team responsible for it. On other occasions, acquired products retain their own identity within the parent organization and live on as independent offerings. It all largely depends on the intention the new company has for its recently-acquired colleagues and tech, and how well the two companies and their cultures integrate together post-acquisition.

The companies on this list were all acquired by larger, older or more profitable companies, and the acquisition has been judged a "success" by the Ranker Community. If you feel a company that made a great addition to a team or pre-existing product has been left out, enter it at the bottom of the page.

Check out more lists like the most essential Apps we need every day, the best poster and wall art websites and the best places to download eBooks.
Ranked by
  • Android
    61 votes


    Acquired by Google in 2005
  • YouTube
    76 votes
    Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services
    Acquired by Google in 2006
  • Zappos
    32 votes
    Acquired by Amazon in 2009
  • Sun Microsystems
    40 votes
    Software, Computer
    Acquired by Oracle in 2009
  • Instagram
    53 votes
  • Acquired by AOL in 2011