Apple Acquires Chomp to Recreate App Store Search and Discovery [Update: Paid About $50 Million]
Apple is acquiring three-year old startup Chomp and plans to use the company's technology and expertise to improve the App Store's search and app discovery technology, according to a report from TechCrunch.
We first covered Chomp in November 2009 to announce their seed funding. Since then, they’ve grown their scope to include not only iPhone apps, but Android apps as well. In fact, Chomp currently has a deal with Verizon to power all of their Android-based app searches. That relationship, obviously, is going to get a bit awkward with this acquisition.
My understanding is that such deals will remain intact for now but are likely to end once the Chomp team and product transitions over to Apple. The same is likely true for Chomp’s stand-alone products.
The terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but TechCrunch reports that the deal isn't merely about talent -- Apple wants Chomp's technology as well. Chomp has raised more than $2.5 million in funding and apparently all investors are very pleased with the outcome. Chomp's 20 or so employees are reportedly all headed for Apple.
Apple generally prefers to make small to medium size acquisitions of talent and technology, rather than spending huge sums of its $100 billion cash hoard. Earlier this year, Apple paid some $390 million to acquire Israeli flash memory firm Anobit.
Update: Apple has confirmed the purchase to AllThingsD.
Update 2: Apple "paid about $50 million" for Chomp, according to Bloomberg.