Every company has a story.
The Pinterest IPO
Apr 23 • 97 min
In the second episode of our APLUSS(Z!) IPO saga, we dive into the history behind the planet’s largest non-social social network, Pinterest. From The Pirates of Silicon Valley to the bloggers of Salt Lake City, the creation story behind this “productivity…
The Lyft IPO
Mar 30 • 136 min
The dawn of the APLUSS era.
LP sneak peek: How to build a successful SaaS company (with Jake Saper, Partner at Emergence Capital)
Mar 6 • 15 min
Our latest LP guest conversation was so good, we wanted to share some of it with everyone
Season 4, Episode 3: Instagram Revisited (with Emily White)
Feb 25 • 70 min
We enter the wayback machine and revisit the subject of Acquired’s second ever episode, Facebook’s bombshell 2012 acquisition of Instagram — this time with the help of then-Facebook executive Emily White, who moved over post-acquisition to become…
Spotify + Gimlet/Anchor Quick Take + Worldwide Meetup Details!
Feb 18 • 40 min
We continue to experiment on Acquired, this time with a quick-take on Spotify’s bombshell dual-acquisition of Anchor and Gimlet Media. While we may give these deals the full Acquired treatment in the future, we wanted to share our quick thoughts with you…
Season 4, Episode 2: ARM & SoftBank
Feb 3 • 82 min
We dive into the crazy, little-known story of how this small, former PC-maker in Cambridge, England dethroned Intel, saved Apple from bankruptcy, became the blueprint for the largest investment fund in history, and of course now powers just about every…
Season 4, Episode 1: ESPN
Jan 21 • 82 min
Booyah! Acquired, the worldwide leader in acquisitions and IPOs, kicks off Season 4 with a classic: ESPN. How did a failed former TV weatherman end up building the world’s most valuable media company on top of a dump (quite literally) in Bristol,…
Season 4 Trailer (and 2019 predictions!)
Jan 14 • 21 min
Get ready for Acquired Season 4: the Attack of the IPOs! We’ll be live on the scene this season as some of the tech world’s biggest unicorns make their long-awaited public debuts (or at least we all hope). We get in the spirit for the coming season, and…
Season 3, Episode 10: Tencent
Dec 16, 2018 • 109 min
We close out Season 3 and our China mini-series with a monster episode on Tencent, the Shenzhen-based social networking and entertainment powerhouse. We dive deep into the story of Pony Ma and his cofounders’ incredible journey from making software for…
LP Show Preview: Product-Market Fit
Dec 10, 2018 • 64 min
Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (works best on mobile) We often get asked, “what type of content is on the LP Bonus Shows?” Well, never fear! We’re releasing one of our LP shows publicly for everyone to listen…
Season 3, Episode 9: Netflix (Part 2)
Nov 25, 2018 • 84 min
We complete our two-part Netflix special with the company’s bold transition to streaming, including of course the most (in)famous spin-out in business history. Rising from the ashes of Qwikster, we chronicle Netflix’s rebirth as a media company and long…
Season 3, Episode 8: Netflix (Part 1)
Nov 11, 2018 • 86 min
In a world ravaged by late fees and lack of rewinding, one man two men from a sleepy California beach town make a stand against tyranny, daringly dethrone an evil empire and… oh who are we kidding, they just copied Amazon’s business plan for books and…
Acquied Season 3 Episode 7: Venmo (live with Andrew Kortina)
Oct 29, 2018 • 68 min
Ben & David are joined by special guest and Venmo cofounder Andrew Kortina for our first-ever SF live show! In front of a packed house we chronicle the journey of how two freshman-year roommates from Penn turned a healthy obsession with Craigslist and a…
SF Live Show Announcement: Venmo!
Oct 8, 2018 • 4 min
Join Ben and David for Acquired’s first-ever SF live show! We’ll be covering Venmo’s acquisition by Braintree (and then PayPal), with special guest Andrew Kortina, co-founder of Venmo. We can’t wait to see many of you there! Register:…
Season 3, Episode 6: Behance (with Scott Belsky)
Oct 2, 2018 • 71 min
Ben and David are joined by Adobe’s Chief Product Officer, Behance founder, Benchmark partner, author, and product luminary, Scott Belsky, to tell the story of Adobe Systems’ 2012 acquisition of Behance. We dive into the role it played in of one of the…
Season 3, Episode 5: Alibaba
Sep 23, 2018 • 93 min
We continue our China Tech series with perhaps the most incredible entrepreneurial journey in history: Alibaba and its indefatigable founder, Jack Ma. How did an unknown 30 year-old English teacher from a second tier Chinese city build the world’s 7th…
Season 3, Episode 4: Recode (with Kara Swisher)
Sep 11, 2018 • 83 min
In this special episode Ben & David head to Recode’s SF office and sit down in the red chair with the one & only Kara Swisher! Kara tells the story of Recode, from the beginnings of her partnership with Walt Mossberg to starting Recode and ultimately…
Season 3, Episode 3: The Sonos IPO
Aug 20, 2018 • 94 min
Ben and David are (almost) live on the scene covering the plucky Southern California “camera company”… uh wait, wrong episode… we mean *speaker* company’s IPO! Continuing the long Acquired tradition of analyzing companies at the intersection of music,…
Season 3, Episode 2: The Xiaomi IPO
Aug 5, 2018 • 73 min
We kick off our China tech mini-series with the largest technology IPO in the world since fellow China tech giant Alibaba in 2014: Xiaomi.
Season 3, Episode 1: Tesla
Jul 17, 2018 • 119 min
Acquired kicks off Season 3 with a gangbuster two-hour extravaganza on America’s most successful automotive startup since The Ford Motor Company: Tesla. We cover everything, from founding to its 2010 IPO to all that’s happened since, including the…
Season 3 Trailer
Jul 9, 2018 • 9 min
Season 2, Episode 10: The Rover-DogVacay Merger (with Rover CEO Aaron Easterly)
Jun 17, 2018 • 67 min
Acquired wraps up Season 2 with our first “elusive” private-private merger: and its 2017 combination with rival pet care marketplace DogVacay. We’re joined by Rover CEO Aaron Easterly to dive into the full history of how the crazy idea of…
Season 2, Episode 9: GitHub
Jun 6, 2018 • 83 min
We’re live on the scene the day following the biggest announcement in the open source software world since well, open source software: Microsoft acquiring GitHub for $7.5B in stock. How did we get here? What does it mean for software developers going…
Season 2, Episode 8: T-Mobile / Sprint
May 21, 2018 • 81 min
If you thought the telecom business was boring, think again! Acquired brings you an episode packed with more drama than an entire season of Game of Thrones. Starting with a death in the family, we follow a tale of fortunes lost and rebuilt, bitter battles…
Season 2, Episode 7: PowerPoint
May 4, 2018 • 74 min
Acquired returns with a classic, delving into Microsoft’s first acquisition ever: Forethought Inc, the makers of PowerPoint. Hate it or love it, you can’t deny the combined companies’ impact: by the early 90’s PowerPoint had transformed the way…
Season 2, Episode 6: Spotify’s Direct Listing
Apr 6, 2018 • 104 min
Acquired wraps up a big few weeks of coverage with not an IPO or an M&A or a fundraising round, but what’s still the largest tech exit in recent memory: Spotify’s $30B direct public listing. We dive into what it all means and how we got here: from Napster…
Season 2, Episode 5: The Dropbox IPO
Mar 26, 2018 • 97 min
Acquired is live on the scene following Dropbox’s public market debut. From playing a central role in the early days of Y Combinator, to having Steve Jobs famously label the company a “feature not a product”, to pivoting from consumers to enterprise to…
Season 2, Episode 4: SoftBank, Fortress and the Vision Fund
Mar 22, 2018 • 88 min
Acquired dives into the topic on the minds and lips of just about every VC and founder: SoftBank’s $93B+ Vision Fund, and its seemingly-overnight rewriting of the rules of venture capital and startup fundraising. The saga starts with an acquisition, and…
Season 2, Episode 3: Nest
Feb 19, 2018 • 92 min
Acquired brings it all back home—to the smart home that is—with Google’s 2014 acquisition of Nest for $3.2B. From Nest cofounder Tony Fadell’s first job at General Magic (alongside future Android founder Andy Rubin) to his days as “father of the iPod”…
Season 2, Episode 2: Raising a Seed Round with Against Gravity CEO Nick Fajt
Feb 6, 2018 • 74 min
We launch mini-series on Acquired with a subject near & dear to our hearts: startup fundraising! Against Gravity CEO Nick Fajt tells the story of raising their $4m seed led by Sequoia Capital in 2016. We had a blast touching on many classic Acquired…
Season 2, Episode 1: Zappos (with Alfred Lin)
Jan 22, 2018 • 72 min
Former Zappos Chairman & COO (and current Partner at Sequoia Capital) Alfred Lin joins our heroes to kick off Season 2 with a classic: Amazon’s 2009 acquisition of the internet’s quirkiest online retailer for $1.2B in stock. How did three Harvard…
Announcement: San Francisco Happy Hour
Jan 8, 2018 • 0 min
Join us on Tuesday, January 16th at 5:30 in San Francisco for the Acquired Listener Happy Hour! Find out more and RSVP here:
Episode 51: 2017 Holiday Special
Dec 18, 2017 • 76 min
Acquired cozies up to the fire and looks back on the year in tech. How wildly off were we on last year’s predictions? What does the next year have in store? Most importantly, what price will Bitcoin be trading at in December 2018??? Pour yourself a glas
Episode 50: Apple - Beats
Dec 11, 2017 • 75 min
Acquired crosses the half-century mark with an instant classic: Apple’s 2014 purchase of Beats, its largest acquisition ever. If you knew Beats as just another headphone company, think again—the history on this one will keep your heads ringin’.
Episode 49: The Stitch Fix IPO
Dec 4, 2017 • 71 min
Ben and David dive into the most talked-about tech IPO of 4Q 2017: Stitch Fix. After downsizing the offering and pricing below the range, does this signal a warning that public markets won’t value high-flying silicon valley “disruptors” as high as V
Episode 48: Qualcomm - Broadcom
Nov 20, 2017 • 51 min
Ben & David cover the proposed largest tech M&A deal of all time, and in the process dive into the evolving dynamics of the industry that started everything in Silicon Valley—silicon. Just when VCs thought innovation was dead in semiconductors, a new wa
Episode 47: The Atlassian IPO
Nov 6, 2017 • 65 min
Ben & David venture to the land down under (and reunite in-person!) to tell the story of the granddaddy of all bootstrapped tech success stories, collaboration software company Atlassian. How did two plucky college grads from Sydney, Australia go from jus
Episode 46: Blue Bottle Coffee
Oct 7, 2017 • 62 min
Today our heroes cover a deal that might have more impact on life in Silicon Valley than AI, wearables and AR/VR combined… Nestle’s acquisition of Blue Bottle Coffee. Will hipster entrepreneurs and the VCs who love/need them continue to line up around
Episode 45: HTC, Google and the Future of Mobile
Sep 21, 2017 • 79 min
Acquired is back and live on the scene! After months of speculation, Google announces today their acquisition (err, “Cooperation Agreement”) of a large portion of HTC’s hardware division. What does this mean for the future of mobile? Can Google transf
Episode 44: AOL - Time Warner (with the Internet History Podcast)
Sep 17, 2017 • 101 min
On this extra-long episode of Acquired, Brian McCullough from the Internet History Podcast returns to discuss perhaps the most (in)famous merger of all time: AOL - Time Warner. Who doesn’t remember the soothing sounds of 56k modems and the timeless phra
Episode 43: The Square IPO
Aug 16, 2017 • 75 min
Unicorns and ratchets and lawsuits, oh my! Our heroes dive into the history of Jack Dorsey’s famous “other” company, Square. Was the Square IPO a canary in the coal mine signaling doom & gloom for the so-called unicorn companies of the early 2010’
Episode 42: Opsware (with special guest Michel Feaster)
Aug 4, 2017 • 73 min
Acquired dives into the legendary acquisition of Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen’s “second act” software company Opsware, from a perspective never before heard—HP’s side of the story! Our heroes are joined by Michel Feaster, who led both the acqu
Episode 41: with Jetsetter & Room 77 CEO Drew Patterson
Jul 26, 2017 • 74 min
Acquired trains its lens on the “second or third best acquisition of all-time”, Priceline’s 2005 purchase of Our heroes are joined by friend-of-the-show and former Jetsetter & Room 77 CEO Drew Patterson to help understand how this…
Episode 40: Activision Blizzard
Jul 12, 2017 • 73 min
Ben & David cover the creation of the gaming world’s equivalent of the 70’s rock supergroup: the 2008 merger of Blizzard and Activision. We tell the story from the Blizzard perspective, tracing the history of one of the most innovative companies in th
Acquired Episode 39: Whole Foods Market
Jun 20, 2017 • 71 min
Ben and David are once again live on the scene, this time covering the biggest disruption in grocery since… well, sliced bread: Amazon’s $13.7B purchase of Whole Foods Market. We place this deal in context by diving deep into the long,…
“About Acquired” on the Anchor Podcast of the Day
Jun 11, 2017 • 20 min
Ben and David are guests on Anchor’s Podcast of the Day, discussing Acquired’s origin story, show structure, and how the show gets made. If you’re new to the show and looking for a primer, this is a great place to jump in!
Acquired Episode 38: SoundJam (iTunes)
May 31, 2017 • 75 min
Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (works best on mobile) Ben & David revisit the birth of the digital music revolution and Steve Jobs’ “digital hub” strategy, with Apple’s 2000 acquisition of…
Episode 37: BAMTech, Disney and “the Biggest Media Company You’ve Never Heard Of”
May 10, 2017 • 74 min
Ben and David continue Acquired’s “tech and sports” mini-series with Disney’s 2016 acquisition of a minority stake (with the right to purchase a majority stake at a later date) in BAMTech, the internet streaming company originally founded as part
Episode 36: The LA Clippers
Apr 24, 2017 • 65 min
In honor of start of NBA playoffs, Ben & David venture off the beaten path to explore one of Steve Ballmer’s most famous acquisitions, his 2014 purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise. Was this landmark purchase a steal or a turnover for the
Episode 35: Oculus
Apr 11, 2017 • 77 min
Ben & David transcend the barriers of “real” reality, and dive into Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s geek-eutpoia vision of the future of gaming, social, and maybe even the entire internet: strapping goofy-looking goggles to your face. Is VR for real
Episode 34: The Starbucks IPO with Dan Levitan
Apr 3, 2017 • 79 min
We “pour over” the 1992 IPO of the legendary Seattle coffee company
Episode 33: Overture (with the Internet History Podcast!)
Mar 13, 2017 • 87 min
Overture, Yahoo, Google, and the history of the Search business model
Episode 32: The Snap Inc. IPO
Mar 4, 2017 • 83 min
Snap! Acquired is live on the scene reporting from the “Super Bowl” of 2017 tech events: Snap Inc’s hugely anticipated (and just plain huge) IPO. What does the future hold for this plucky “camera company”? Will Snap’s IPO endure as tech’s most importa
Episode 31: The Uber - Didi Chuxing Merger with Brad Stone, author of The Upstarts & The Everything Store
Mar 1, 2017 • 69 min
Brad Stone, Senior Executive Editor of Global Technology at Bloomberg and author of The Upstarts and The Everything Store, joins Ben & David to dive deep into the Uber-Didi saga, a wild story with far-reaching implications that still aren’t fully apprec
Episode 30: P.A. Semi + AuthenTec
Jan 24, 2017 • 67 min
Ben & David venture into the semiconductor world, analyzing two hallmark Apple acquisitions: P.A. Semi and AuthenTec, both of which would go on to form the basis of core Apple product features in the “A” series of processors and TouchID sensors. Was C
Episode 29: Special—2016 Review and 2017 Predictions
Jan 11, 2017 • 71 min
Ben & David wrap up 2016 with a review of the top tech themes we discussed on the show this year, and look forward to which themes we think will be relevant in the coming year. Can our hosts predict the future? Tune-in in 2018 to find out!
Episode 28: The Amazon IPO with original Amazon Board Member Tom Alberg
Dec 31, 2016 • 66 min
Ben & David welcome very special guest Tom Alberg, board member and first lead investor in, to cover the IPO of “earth’s most customer-centric company”. From longterm thinking to flywheels to riding big waves, this episode is chock full of le
Episode 27: Special—A Conversation with Microsoft’s Head of Strategic Investments Brian Schultz
Dec 16, 2016 • 70 min
Ben & David chat with Brian Schultz, the Managing Director of Strategic Investments & Corporate Development at Microsoft, about Microsoft’s approach to M&A, investing, and partnering with startups — and his journey from acquirer to acquiree and back a
Episode 26: Marvel
Dec 5, 2016 • 78 min
Ben and David complete the Disney acquisition trilogy, covering the “house that Mickey built“‘s 2009 acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. Will our own superheroes save the day for shareholders, or perish at the hands of villainous corporate raiders? Tune
Episode 25: The Facebook IPO
Nov 11, 2016 • 80 min
Ben and David tackle their first IPO episode, starting with the largest tech IPO of all time, Facebook.
Episode 24: Skype
Nov 2, 2016 • 78 min
An acquisition so wild and crazy, they had to do it again. And again. Ben & David cover tech’s perhaps most-traded asset, Skype (which also happens to be a fantastic business). How do we even know which deal to grade? Tune in to find out…
Episode 23: NeXT (Live show at the GeekWire Summit)
Oct 23, 2016 • 62 min
Ben & David broadcast live from the 2016 GeekWire Summit covering one of the all-time greats, Apple’s 1996 acquisition of NeXT. This episode has it all: the Steve Jobs hero story, Apple, I.M. Pei, Ross Perot, Aaron Sorkin, Nobel Laureates and… Gil Ame
Episode 22: Zillow + Trulia (with Zillow Group CFO Kathleen Philips)
Oct 13, 2016 • 70 min
CFO of Zillow Group Kathleen Philips joins Ben and David to cover the show’s first true “merger” versus “acquisition” (only took 22 episodes!), Zillow’s 2015 combination with Trulia to form Zillow Group.
Episode 21: Inside the M&A Press with Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman
Sep 27, 2016 • 78 min
Ben and David go inside the M&A press with Bloomberg’s technology M&A reporter and host of the Deal of the Week Podcast, Alex Sherman. If you’ve ever wondered how stories about big deals get broken or what “according to people familiar with the matt
Episode 20: Android
Sep 16, 2016 • 73 min
Ben & David examine Google’s 2005 purchase of Android for a rumored $50M, undeniably one of the best technology acquisitions of all time. But will it top the list of these tough graders? Tune in to find out.
Episode 19: Jet
Aug 29, 2016 • 65 min
Ben & David break down’s meteoric rise, culminating in Walmart’s blockbuster $3B+ acquisition of the company just two years after its founding. Will we look back on this deal as an ‘Instagram-like’ bargain or a ‘’-sized blunder?
Episode 18: Special—An Acquirer’s View into M&A with Taylor Barada, head of Corp Dev at Adobe
Aug 22, 2016 • 63 min
Ben & David are joined by special guest Taylor Barada, VP and Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Adobe, to discuss how large tech acquirers approach buying companies. This episode is full of great insights for startups & entrepreneu
Acquired Episode 17: Waze
Aug 3, 2016 • 60 min
Ben and David navigate the mobile platform wars of 2012-13, avoiding speed traps en route to Waze’s destination as a $1B+ acquisition by Google.
Acquired Episode 16: Midroll + Stitcher (acquired by Scripps)
Jul 12, 2016 • 55 min
The meta show: Ben and David turn their gaze inward and examine the podcasting industry through E. W. Scripps’ recent acquisitions of the Midroll podcast advertising network and Stitcher podcast client. Featuring discussion of our own product process an
Acquired Episode 15: ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce) with Scott Dorsey
Jul 5, 2016 • 69 min
Ben and David return to make their first foray into enterprise software, covering Salesforce’s $2.5B acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013 with the help of special guest and ExactTarget cofounder & CEO, Scott Dorsey.
Episode 14: LinkedIn
Jun 16, 2016 • 61 min
Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (works best on mobile) Ben and David cover the 3-day-old acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. They cover LinkedIn’s founding story by Reid Hoffman, break…
Episode 13: Push Pop Press (Facebook Instant Articles) with Todd Bishop
Jun 6, 2016 • 56 min
Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (works best on mobile) Ben and David are joined by Todd Bishop, technology reporter and co-founder of GeekWire, to discuss Facebook’s 2011 acquisition of Push Pop Press….
Episode 12: Snapchat
May 22, 2016 • 56 min
Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (works best on mobile) Ben and David tackle their first failed acquisition: Facebook’s 2013 offer to buy Snapchat. They cover the fascinating story of Snapchat’s creation and…
Episode 11: PayPal
May 9, 2016 • 52 min
Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (works best on mobile) Ben and David return to technology acquisitions by examining a classic: eBay’s 2002 purchase of PayPal. Items mentioned in the show: How the…
Acquired Episode 10: Virgin America
Apr 27, 2016 • 48 min
Join the Acquired Limited Partner program! (works best on mobile) Ben and David deviate entirely from the stated purpose of the show, tackling this non-technology acquisition that is so recent, we have no idea if it…
Episode 9: Writely (Google Docs)
Mar 29, 2016 • 42 min
Ben and David continue the cloud productivity saga with Google Docs. They examine the suite of acquisitions made by Google with a focus on Writely in 2006. They tackle: The nuts and bolts of the Upstartle (company behind Writely) acquisition, founded by…
Episode 8: Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist (w/ Kurt DelBene)
Feb 29, 2016 • 56 min
Ben and David have special guest Kurt DelBene on to discuss Microsoft’s acquisition of Acompli, Sunrise, and Wunderlist. Kurt is the EVP of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft, and joins to discuss Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first strategy,…
Episode 7: YouTube
Feb 3, 2016 • 44 min
Ben and David test the widely-held belief that YouTube was one of the most successful tech acquisitions of all time. In today’s world of next-generation video platforms, mobile video, streaming, and chord-cutting, was it actually a great purchase by…
Episode 6: Lucasfilm
Jan 19, 2016 • 33 min
Riding closely on the tails of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ben and David cover Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm
Episode 5: Siri
Dec 14, 2015 • 37 min
Ben and David discuss Apple’s acquisition of Siri. Notable topics include: The founding of Siri by Dag Kittlau, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Brigham. Scott Forstall on the Apple side, and the end of his time at the company. The other Apple acquisitions around…
Episode 4: Bungie (with Xbox Co-Founder Ed Fries)
Nov 30, 2015 • 60 min
Ben and David are joined by Former Microsoft VP and Co-Founder of Xbox, Ed Fries, to discuss the Bungie acquisition and the development of Halo.
Episode 3: Twitch
Nov 16, 2015 • 46 min
Ben and David discuss Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch in 2014. Unlike previous episodes, this recent acquisition still has a lot of open questions, and Amazon hasn’t publicly reported growth of Twitch since the purchase. Ben and David talk about Justin…
Episode 2: Instagram
Nov 1, 2015 • 35 min
Ben and David discuss Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012. Was it a success? If so, what are the criteria that made it work? What lessons can be learned for other acquisitions in the future?
Episode 1: Pixar
Oct 15, 2015 • 31 min
Ben and David discuss Disney’s acquisition of Pixar in 2006. Was it a success? If so, what are the criteria that made it work? What lessons can be learned for other acquisitions in the future?