Apple often acquires small startup companies very quietly and without any formal announcement to bolster its own services, and a new report from TechCrunch claims that the company acquired Ottocat in late-2013. Ottocat was a startup that focused on developing a system to organize and discover apps based on increasingly specific subcategories. Apple currently uses this technology to power the “Explore” tab in the App Store, as seen above.
Apple has reportedly acquired database company FoundationDB, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The report cites sources and notes that the company is no longer offering downloads of its main database software product after posting the following notice to its website:
Thank you for your support of FoundationDB over the last five years. We’re grateful to have shared our vision of building the best database software and we strongly value your participation in this community. We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads.
As noted in the report, Apple is likely looking to improve its cloud services with the acquisition: Read more
Audio software developer Camel Audio announced in January that it would be shutting down for good and removing its software from sale, but no one knew quite why. However, it now appears that the company has been acquired by Apple.
Today Camel Audio updated some of its corporate information, including its address and directors, as listed on the UK government’s Companies House website. The new address is 100 New Bridge Street in London, which also happens to be the address of Apple’s UK offices.
Apple confirmed today that it has acquired cloud networking startup Union Bay Networks and will open a software engineering office in the company’s home town of Seattle. This will be Apple’s first time venturing into the city, though many other tech companies have already established offices in the area.
The first hints that an acquisition may have taken place came when GeekWire noticed that Union Bay’s co-founder Benn Bollay now lists himself as a manager at Apple on LinkedIn and seems to be attempting to recruit new workers in the area to the Cupertino tech giant. Bollay also wrote a post titled “Ever wanted to work at Apple, but didn’t want to live in Cupertino?” and removed it shortly thereafter.
Apple and social networking don’t have such a great history, but the Cupertino tech firm is ready to give it another go, if new rumors regarding a potential acquisition of the Path social app are true. According to PandoDaily, Apple is already in talks with the mobile social network and the merger is “essentially a done deal.”
Path, for the uninitiated, is a mobile-only social networking app launched in 2010 that features photo sharing, private messaging, and other features you’d expect from a basic social service. It isn’t as widely popular as something like Facebook or Twitter, but it’s estimated to have somewhere around 25 million users and could provide Apple with a decent platform to create its own network.
Apple appears to be looking to further improve the iTunes Radio service through the $30 million acquisition of a radio application called Swell, Re/code reported early Monday morning. Unlike the $3 billion Beats Electronics (and Beats Music) buyout, however, this purchase centers more on talk radio than music.
Swell currently carries news from sources such as NPR, ABC, ESPN, the BBC, and more, and uses a user’s listening history to create personalized content playlists. Apple, on the other hand, only recently jumped into the streaming news market through iTunes Radio with ESPN and NPR stations, including over 40 local stations.
Apple acquired a company called BookLamp earlier this year for somewhere between $10-15 million, according to information uncovered by TechCrunch.
The Idaho-based startup created what was referred to as “Pandora for books,” including a system known as the Book Genome Project that could recommend books based on analysis of the text and previous ratings of other books by users (very similar to Pandora’s Music Genome Project, which does the same thing for musical analysis).
Just a little more than a week after acquiring Beats, Apple has now reportedly acquired Spotsetter. According to a report out of TechCrunch, Apple quietly snatched up the company mainly for the technology and two founders behind the service. Spotsetter was founded in 2012 by ex-Google Maps engineer Stephen Tse and Jonny Lee. Both Lee and Tse’s LinkedIn profiles now say they’re employed by Apple, as well.
Update: A spokesperson for Beats Music confirmed to us that “Trent Reznor is still with Beats Music.”
Jimmy Iovine has long credited Nine Inch Nails frontman and Beats Music Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor as a driving force behind the success of the service. Reznor, however, is now rumored to have left the company as it finalizes its $3B sell to Apple. The news comes from a line in a USA Today report over the weekend that curiously doesn’t mention a source of the information:
(Curiously, Beats’ chief creative officer, Trent Reznor, the singer-songwriter and producer of Nine Inch Nails fame responsible for Beats’ tastemaking, has reportedly left the company. Also, one of Beats’ principal technology executives, Fredric Vinna, has recently gone to Spotify, and its co-founder, Ola Sars, to a Spotify-backed venture.)
While it was previously reported that the Apple buyout of Beats Electronics was supposed to be announced this week, Billboard has compiled a list of five different reasons the deal isn’t yet finalized according to its own sources.
A few of these potential hold-ups include issues determining Beats’ valuation and issues with finding a place for Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to fit into Apple’s corporate structure. According to one of Billboard’s sources, Apple’s executives were “freaked out” by the video that surfaced a few weeks ago of Dr. Dre and Tyrese Gibson (accidentally) confirmed that a deal was in the works.
Apple has acquired Burstly, the company behind the popular beta testing platform Test Flight, TechCrunch reported (now confirmed by Recode). TestFlight recently pulled its SDK as well as Android support prompting speculation that big changes were on the horizon. Some speculated that an Apple acquisition could behind it all and would make sense considering the fragmented beta testing experience for app developers. While neither company has commented publicly confirming the acquisition, we were pointed to hints of the acquisition just before TechCrunch reported the rumor as likely and later updated its reporting to note that the acquisition had already occurred… Read more
Google has confirmed in a press release that it is acquiring Nest Labs, the company behind Nest smart thermostats and fire alarms started by Father of the iPod Tony Fadell. Earlier reports were quickly confirmed along with the transaction price of $3.2 billion in cash in an official announcement posted on the company’s Investor website. In the statement, Google said that Fadell will be staying on board as a Google employee and continuing to run Nest: