Google acquires Singapore-based workplace chat app Pie, its first in the region

Google acquires Singapore-based workplace chat app Pie, its first in the region
Google's VP of product management Caesar Sengupta (above)
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore-based work chat app Pie is Google's first acquisition in Southeast Asia, according to a Facebook update by Grace Chng, a senior reporter at Singaporean daily The Straits Times.

If the post (accessible only to friends) is accurate, the chat app startup's engineering team of nine people will join the big G as early as tomorrow.

She adds that Pie's service will shut down.

Interestingly, Pie's engineers will supposedly kickstart the team Google intended to build in Singapore to tackle emerging markets. Google's VP of product management Caesar Sengupta is quoted as saying that the company bought Pie because of its mobile direction and entrepreneurial spirit.

We tried to verify this story with Pie founders Pieter Walraven and Thijs Jacobs, but were referred to Google for comment instead.

UPDATE, 19:00: Google has confirmed Pie's acquisition with a post on its Asia Pacific blog. In the post, the company talks about the new engineering team now taking shape to "get closer to the next billion users coming online and to develop products that will work for them." Pie's engineers will be the start of this new Singapore-based team, which Google will look to beef up with new graduates and experienced engineers, from Singapore and abroad.

Google's post includes a call for engineers who would like to "come back home, or would like to start calling Singapore their home." A similar sentiment was echoed by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, during his recent visit to Silicon Valley, where he met with Singaporean employees of Facebook and Google and spoke with them about making software engineering a more attractive career path in Singapore.

Read the full article here.

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