Top Companies And Brands You Probably Did Not Know They Own

Off the top of your head, there are certain companies that you’d mention if asked to name top companies, especially in the area of tech. I bet Google, Facebook, and Microsoft would make everyone’s list. If the exercise was allowed to continue, eventually some other smaller brands would get a shout.

Many of these smaller brands, it would interest you to know, are owned by one of the top companies you would have listed earlier. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major names.


Instagram and WhatsApp are examples of brands that are owned by Facebook. Facebook’s purchase of Instagram cost $1 billion in 2012, while WhatsApp cost $22 billion in 2014. As of January 2018, over 32% of all internet users were on Instagram, which has become an online keepsake of users’ most treasured moments and memories. Meanwhile, WhatsApp ranked 1st place amongst the most popular mobile messaging apps worldwide at the same time.


Google, or rather Alphabet Inc., owns YouTube, Nexus, and Blogger. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, 82% of global internet users accessed YouTube to listen to music. Nexus is a series of electronic devices and smartphones designed, developed, and marketed by Google. They run the Android operating system. Blogger, an online blog publishing company, was bought by Google in 2003. In January 2018, Google officially sealed the deal for HTC’s smartphone design division for $1.1 billion.


LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than half a billion users in more than 200 countries worldwide, was purchased by Microsoft for $26 billion in 2017. Microsoft Corporation had earlier in 2011 bought Skype for $8.5 billion dollars. Both purchases make it possible for Microsoft to embed LinkedIn with Skype and provide an easier and better connection platform for enterprises.


Apple owns Shazam and Beats Electronics, amongst others. Shazam is an app that enable users to identify music, movies, advertising, and television shows via a simple method. All the consumer has to do is use the device microphone to listen to a short sample playing of the media, and that’s it! Shazam identifies it. Shazam was acquired by Apple in 2017. Now, 5% of all music downloads come from Shazam. Beats Electronics, the audio products manufacturer, cost Apple $3.2 billion and has captured the imagination of teenagers.


The Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten has begun to significantly increase in popularity on the world market. In 2010 they bought, effectively spreading their influence across the North American continent. Then in 2014 even Ebates became one of their major acquisitions, at a price of a whopping $1 billion. The future bodes well for Rakuten, and we’re bound to see more major companies become their subsidiaries in the years to come.


eBay, the world’s ninth largest internet company by revenue, is not only an ecommerce giant. eBay owns StubHub and StubHub is the world’s largest ticket marketplace. It provides tickets for live sports, music, and theatre events in more than 40 countries in the world. If you are German and own a car, then you definitely know because it’s Germany’s biggest online vehicle marketplace, providing used and new cars.


Alibaba, the Chinese giant, covers a range of services from ecommerce, retail, AI to technology. The Alibaba Group owns AliExpress, AutoNavi, and UCWeb amongst others. AliExpress is an online retail service that comprises small businesses in China and elsewhere. It offers products to international online buyers. AutoNavi provides digital map content and navigation solutions in China. UCWeb is a Chinese mobile internet company that developed the mobile web browser UCBrowser. As of March 2018, UCBrowser already had 200 patents.


Yahoo! and AOL are owned by Verizon, the wireless powerhouse. Verizon purchased Yahoo! in 2017 for $4.48 billion, and AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion. Both are being combined into Oath by Verizon.


Tencent Holdings Limited, a Chinese conglomerate company, was founded in 1998, and is worth nearly $500 billion. The success of Tencent is built around the following: WeChat, its messaging app; its mobile games, and it’s ecosystem of around 1 billion users. WeChat has over 900 million daily active users with more than 70 million users residing outside China.

Tencent mobile games include Arena of Valor which won the “Best Music in a Casual/Social Game” at the 15th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards in 2017. The Chinese microblogging site Weibo, launched in 2010, is also owned by Tencent.


Uber is most popularly known as the ride sharing company with presence in 633 cities worldwide. Uber, however, owns other companies such as Otto and deCarta, amongst others. Otto is an American self-driving company founded in 2016 and based in San Francisco. deCarta is a company that provides geospatial software platforms that power internet, mobile, personal navigation, and location-based service applications. deCarta was founded in 1996.

I trust you found this article interesting – if you have any corrections or feedback please feel free to share below.


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