Popular Read-Later App Instapaper Sold to Betaworks

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InstapaperDeveloper Marco Arment announced in a blog post today that he has sold a majority stake of his read-later app Instapaper to Betaworks.

That company owns Bitly, Digg, Socialflow and a number of other products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold a majority stake in Instapaper to Betaworks. We’ve structured the deal with Instapaper’s health and longevity as the top priority, with incentives to keep it going well into the future. I will continue advising the project indefinitely, while Betaworks will take over its operations, expand its staff, and develop it further.

Arment said he would like to work on other apps and creative projects, including The Magazine, his medium-form iPad magazine.

Instapaper is available for the iPhone and iPad for $3.99. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

canyonblue737 Avatar
101 months ago
Smart, I think he saw the writing on the wall and that excellent free apps like Pocket would dominate even if his app was a bit superior. It was time to get out.

He successfully found a new income stream with "The Magazine", got a large payday you can assume from the Instapaper sale, and has freed time and resources to persue more successful future app markets instead of plugging holes in a leaking one.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
manu chao Avatar
101 months ago

Instapaper, the name itself is catchy and sounds bigger than the product actually is.

The idea is noble, but both the Instapaper website itself and the iPhone app are horribly put together. I have no idea how it could be taken seriously enough to be bought out other than for the name.


Wow, we can't get more superficial than this: Apps get popular mainly because of their names?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
manu chao Avatar
101 months ago

Instapaper was a piece of overpriced crap. Pretty sure the guy was able to sell based on his name (and the app's name) alone. There's no other reason I could see this thing being purchased...


How do you get a 'name' and an app's 'name' if your app is crap?

Is your working hypothesis that Instapaper got famous by accident and that freak event at the beginning kept it famous for all those years?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dysamoria Avatar
101 months ago
An honest and descriptive software company name...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reubs Avatar
101 months ago
For a guy who left Tumblr and built a corner of the app market almost himself (Remember, Apple's reading list is a response to read-later apps), good for Marco for building a product, nurturing it, and making some money off of it. His customers had a good run with it, and in a changing landscape how long can we really expect a smart and driven guy like him to stay with something on his own?

It's too bad that more great apps, like Sparrow, for ex, don't get to grow and mature like Instapaper did. I think Marco did it well and did it right. Good for him to go and get paid!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
accidental Avatar
101 months ago
Pretty sure the writing wasn't 'on the wall'. Nobody wouldn't have bought it if it was, and Marco wouldn't be holding a stake in it either. All signs point to it having a bright future with more weight behind it.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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