Apple purchases Spotsetter to compete with Google Maps

TechCrunch reported on Friday that Apple very quietly acquired Spotsetter, a personalized map service that can compete with Google Maps. The report states that this deal was done mainly to take over the technology created and utilized by the start up company and it’s two founders, both of whom have extensive industry experience.

Stephen Tse was an ex-Google Maps engineer. He was joined by Johnny Lee, a former consultant at Siemens and CTO at FitFriend. The pair founded Spotsetter as a new maps system that combined reviews and recommendations from friends and other types of data to generate personalized social maps catering to specific users.

Spotsetter also used information pulled from personal accounts tethered social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to formulate these maps and recommendations. The start up company received the $1.3 million needed to establish the company. THis was generated through seed funding from Rahul Prakash, 2020 Ventures and Javelin Venture Partners according to CrunchBase.

The acquisition of the company by Apple was indirectly confirmed by Lee through a post on the company’s blog only a week ago. While Lee did not specifically mention Apple purchased the company, he did mention the company was closing down operations for the application.

Lee posted on his blog, “With fondest emotions, I’m announcing that we are closing down Spotsetter app. We still have big dreams for personalized search for places and look forward to seeing great progress in this area. Thank you everyone for your support over the past years.”

This is only one of many recent acquisitions from Apple, who recently acquired Beats for $3 billion. It appears as though Apple is broadening their horizons in order to better expand their company and compete against fierce competitors such as Google.

It seems as though Apple has their eye on Google in particular with this acqusition. Apple hasn’t had a good history with map applications. Google Maps is the go to application for navigation and the acquisition of Spotsetter seems to indicate that the company is hoping to make a successful jump into this market.

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