Signs in opposition of technology companies are seen in San Francisco, Calif. on Dec. 9, 2013. A Google Inc
commuter bus was blocked in San Francisco's Mission district for about a half hour Monday morning, highlighting many residents' growing concern that an influx of affluent technology workers is driving up costs in the city. Reuters
San Francisco may soon see more number of Google engineers around the Mission district, as the search engine giant has reportedly leased a massive building in the area that would be used for housing more new enigneers, following its recent acquisitions.
In 2014 itself, Google has bought over five companies - the most recent announcement came on 16 February, wherein an Israeli sound authentication startup - SlickLogin - was taken over by the web giant.
SlickLogin allows websites to verify a user's identity by using sound waves, and can be used either as a replacement for a password or as an additional security layer. However, the financial details of the deal are yet to be revealed.
The Financial Times reported that the 35,000 sq ft space in Mission district "is large enough to hold 200 people" and "is being earmarked by the search group as a place to house the start-ups it buys."
In January, Google made one its largest European acquisitions to date by acquiring DeepMind Technologies - a London-based artificial intelligence firm which specializes in machine learning, advanced algorithms and systems neuroscience. Google had reportedly paid $650 million to clinch DeepMind.
In the same month, Google also bought Nest Labs - a "smart home" device firm that makes thermostat and smoke alarms - for $3.2 billion. The company also acquired Bot and Dolly, a San Francisco startup that provides robotics for filmmakers, for an undisclosed amount.
Google already has an office in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood, while its main campus is in Silicon Valley. However, quoting a local from the neighborhood, FT stated: "When Google is buying companies, they don't want to work in the big corporate building in San Francisco or Mountain View. So they are acquiring something cool in the Mission where engineers want to work."
San Francisco that also houses offices of other tech bigwigs, such as Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Square and Pinterest increasingly faces local resent. Instances of protesters blocking tech buses from Google and Facebook, carrying workers out of the city, have been rampant.
The tech companies are seen as symbols of income disparity. For the locals, it has created what is being dubbed as 'eviction crisis' as influx of tech startups has set an enormous wealth gap, hiking the rents and commercial rates in the town, which makes things difficult for the common folks.
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