Today, TechCrunch reports that Apple is acquiring three-year old startup Chomp. Chomp is a search engine that helps people discover apps for their devices. Apple plans to use the company’s technology and expertise to improve the App Store’s search and app discover technology.
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 have not been disclosed, but according to the report, Apple’s acquisition isn’t specifically related to talent — Apple also wants Chomp’s technology as well. Chomp has raised more than $2.5 million in funding and all investors are pleased with the outcome. Since Apple has over a $100 billion in cash, you can expect that the company paid quite a bit for Chomp. Chomp’s 20-something employees will reportedly will start working for Apple.
Apple usually prefers to make small to medium size acquisitions of talent and technology, instead of spending a lot of its $100 billion cash pile. Earlier this year, Apple acquired an Israeli flash memory company, Anobit. It should also be noted that with every acquisition the company makes, they make full use of it (ex: Siri).
Update: Apple has confirmed the purchase to AllThingsD.
Update 2: Apple “paid about $50 million” for Chomp, according to Bloomberg.