The big-data analytics firm will be the first major buy for new Google Cloud Chief Executive Thomas Kurian.
Kurian told Reuters in an interview that doubling down on analytics made sense as he looked to fill gaps in his unit. Looker and Google Cloud have similar cultures and share more than 350 customers including Blue Apron Holdings Inc, and Hearst Communications Inc, he said.
“When we looked at how do we broaden our portfolio, [data and analytics] is a segment where we have strength,” Kurian said. Looker is “complementary and completes our analytics foundation.”
The deal also reflects Kurian’s plan to win customers with specialized software, as rivals focus on more general tools.
Santa Cruz, California-based Looker, which was founded in 2012, employs about 800 people, has raised $281 million in venture capital and was valued at $1.6 billion in a funding round last year.
Its tool enables analysts and other workers to define calculations for items such as revenue or high-value customers and then visualize trends in their data without writing complicated scripts. It competes with Tableau Software Inc , Domo Inc and Microsoft’s Power BI.