As Apple is not able to buy one of the most valuable startups in Silicon valley. Twice
Apple tried several times to buy the company Leap Motion, which is developing the technology of computer control based on tracking of user movements, but she could not close the deal.
Startup Leap Motion appeared in 2010. The company has attracted the attention of the demo video that gathered millions of views. It shows how Leap Motion technology will change the interaction with the computer. The company promised to replace the keyboard and mouse hardware that could track the position of hands and fingers “without apparent time delay”.
After that, Leap Motion has held several rounds of investment. The money is actively spent on expensive Lunches, big office in an expensive neighborhood in San Francisco and on a high patch engineers. The company constantly teetered on the brink of financial crisis.
However, the device was released in 2013. It connects to the computers on Windows and macOS, and cost $ 80. Simultaneously, Leap Motion began to feature in some top-end models of notebooks Asus, and HP. It was the first time Apple became interested in using Leap Motion.
According to a person familiar with the negotiations, writes Business Insider, Apple was not interested in the technology of Leap Motion. Instead, she needed a team of developers and patents on intellectual property. Leap Motion has more than 100 patents applications and technologies. Its hardware is still used in many prototype devices which need the support of gestures.
The first negotiations came to no avail. Co-founders David Holz and Michael Buckwald stated that he is not interested in joining Apple. In the negotiations they were pretty eccentric. According to former employees of Leap Motion, it came to insults. Holtz said that Apple is no longer innovative companies that its technology “suck” and praised Android.
Leep Motion co-founders David Holz and Michael Buckwald
Years later, some members of the Leap Motion team join Apple to work on projects of augmented reality.
Sales of Leap Motion didn’t bring a lot of money. On the background of the Facebook purchase of Oculus for two billion dollars, leaders, Leap Motion has decided to change the direction of the company and focus on the production of virtual reality helmets. Later they retrained on the augmented reality.
In the beginning of 2018 Apple tried again and offered to buy Leap Motion for 30-50 million dollars. The deal was nearing completion, but a few days before the papers were signed, she failed.
This time the problem was also in the talks. The co-founder of the Leap Motion found that the Apple proposal does not match the value of the company. In 2017, the Leap Motion has attracted $ 50 million in the evaluation of 306 million dollars. Holtz and Buckwald told the employees that their startup is potentially worth more than one billion dollars.
With 50 million dollars they got not entirely. Under the agreement, Leap Motion has received $ 25 million, and the rest of the company will give when you reach certain results. By the end of 2018, it became clear that the company will not receive the remaining $ 25 million.
Many employees began to leave the company. The management had to reduce costs and move to more modest office.
Leap Motion can buy any major company that wants the technology for gesture recognition. However, the co-founder of Leap Motion will have to search for buyers.