The first came in December 2017 when Google quietly acquired Redux, a firm that turns the surface of devices such as smartphones into speakers with its technology.
At the time Redux was developing “panel audio” which removes the need for a speaker in a device. It was also creating solutions to create so-called haptic feedback, which allows users to carry out different tasks on current smartphones by applying different pressure to the screen.
Reports at the time were sketchy, but correctly identified Redux’s main investor as “Arie Capital, a U.K.-based venture and private equity company, which invested $5 million.”
To outsiders it was unclear why Google may have acquired this company, but it was noted that the company had been pushing its hardware, particularly its Pixel 2 smartphone. It suggested that this technology could be used in future hardware devices from Google.
Back then Redux, founded in 2013, had 178 granted patents with 50 pending.
As is often the case, when Redux was sold there were labyrinthine confidentiality clauses imposed, so specific details cannot be made public even today.
However, the Redux sale (along with the performance of the other investments) has contributed to ARIE achieving an IRR in excess of 80% over the last 3 years.