Definition of Acqhire

Acqhire, a combination of the words “acquire” and “hire,” refers to a strategy in which a company acquires another primarily to gain access to its talent or skilled employees, rather than its products or services. In such transactions, the acquired company’s employees are considered as valuable assets contributing for the acquirer’s growth. Typically, the acquired company is dissolved after the acquisition, and its employees are integrated into the acquiring company.


The phonetics of the keyword “Acqhire” are:ækˈkwaɪər

Key Takeaways

  1. Acqhiring is a strategic corporate acquisition focused on acquiring talent, rather than products or services.
  2. It commonly involves the absorption of a smaller company by a larger one, primarily for the smaller company’s skilled employees and expertise.
  3. Acqhires can provide the acquiring company with a competitive advantage, accelerate development, and enhance innovation capabilities.

Importance of Acqhire

The term “Acqhire” is significant in the technology industry as it represents a strategic business acquisition approach, primarily aimed at securing talented professionals and their valuable expertise.

Typically, when a company undertakes an acqhire, it acquires a smaller start-up or a team of skilled professionals, not primarily for its products or services, but rather for the knowledge and capabilities of the acquired workforce.

This approach helps companies to quickly and efficiently integrate talented individuals into their organization, fostering innovation, growth, and a competitive edge in an ever-evolving technology landscape.

Acqhire serves as an important tool for businesses to maintain their relevance and adaptability in an increasingly complex and competitive market, while offering smaller start-ups and skilled professionals lucrative opportunities for growth and integration within the larger organization.


Acqhire is a unique phenomenon predominantly observed in the technology sector, which offers a strategic and advantageous approach for companies looking to strengthen their competitive position within the industry. The purpose of an acqhire stems from the fusion of two business objectives – an acquisition and a hiring.

In such deals, acquiring firms are particularly interested in the skills, expertise, and talent demonstrated by their target’s employees, rather than the target’s intellectual property, products, or services. Emerging and established organizations alike often deploy this strategy to effectively bolster their innovative capabilities, overcome skill gaps, or accelerate the pace of project delivery in their specific operational lanes.

As a result, the acqhire serves as an efficient means to enhance the core workforce and access invaluable knowledge possessed by the employees of another organization. By onboarding these highly skilled individuals, the acquiring company benefits from a seamless infusion of new ideas, technical prowess, and diverse perspectives, which are typically fast-tracked in comparison to conventional recruitment efforts.

Additionally, through acquiring visionary teams, companies can efficiently minimize competitive risks, as individuals with proven records of success can significantly contribute to their long-term growth and resilience. Ultimately, the acqhire strategy enables businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the constantly evolving tech landscape, ensuring they are better equipped to face challenges, innovate, and rapidly bring their groundbreaking solutions to market.

Examples of Acqhire

Acqhire, or acqui-hire, is a strategy where larger companies acquire smaller startups primarily for their talent, rather than for their products or services. Here are three real-world examples of Acqhire:

Facebook and Gowalla: In December 2011, Facebook acqui-hired the team behind Gowalla, a location-based social network app. The app’s features were not directly integrated into Facebook, but the talented employees were tasked with working on various projects within the company. Throughout the years, Facebook has acqui-hired numerous smaller startups to bolster its talent pool.

Google and Milk: In March 2012, Google acqui-hired Milk, a San Francisco-based startup founded by entrepreneur Kevin Rose, which had developed a social app called Oink. The app allowed users to rate and share on various things, from restaurants to events. The acquisition was primarily for the team behind Milk, which included engineers, designers, and product developers who later joined Google to work on core products and help the company grow.

Twitter and ZipDial: In January 2015, Twitter acqui-hired ZipDial, an Indian-based mobile marketing startup. The startup provided a unique solution for emerging markets that allowed users to access content and services by dialing a phone number and instantly disconnecting without incurring any charges. Twitter saw potential in the ZipDial team and integrated their employees to develop more accessible services for users in countries with poor data connectivity.

Acqhire FAQ

1. What is an Acqhire?

An Acqhire is a type of acquisition in which a company is acquired primarily for its talented workforce, rather than for its products, services, or assets. It is often seen as a strategic move for a larger company to quickly bring in new talent and expertise to help expand or improve its existing operations.

2. What are the benefits of an Acqhire?

Some benefits of an Acqhire include acquiring talented employees with minimal recruitment effort, a reduction in competition, and the ability to introduce new products or technology to the market faster. Acqhiring a team with an established working dynamic can help companies achieve their objectives more quickly and efficiently than hiring individuals separately.

3. Is Acqhire the same as a traditional acquisition?

No, an Acqhire is different from a traditional acquisition. In a traditional acquisition, the main focus is on acquiring the target company’s products, services, or assets, whereas in Acqhire, the primary goal is to acquire the target company’s talented workforce. The terms of the deal in an Acqhire may be different as well; for instance, the acquired company might continue to operate independently or the employees might be integrated into the acquiring company.

4. When does an Acqhire make sense?

An Acqhire makes the most sense when a company prioritizes quickly obtaining access to a specific expertise or talent pool to help grow or improve their business. An Acqhire can be an efficient way to acquire skilled professionals with specialized knowledge, particularly in competitive or high-demand industries where recruiting and onboarding talent can be challenging and time-consuming. Acqhiring can also make sense when companies aim to reduce competitive pressure by absorbing smaller competitors or teams that are working on similar projects or technologies.

5. Are there any downsides to an Acqhire?

There are potential downsides to an Acqhire, such as cultural clashes between the acquired employees and the existing team, potential legal issues surrounding intellectual property or non-compete agreements, and financial risks associated with acquiring a company primarily for its talent. Additionally, if the acquiring company does not effectively integrate the new team members, there is a risk of losing them to competitors or other opportunities.

Related Technology Terms

  • Corporate Acquisition
  • Talent Acquisition

  • Intellectual Property Transfer
  • Employee Retention
  • Startup Integration

Sources for More Information


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