Apple Buys for About $30M

Apple Buys for About $30M, Shuts Down Talk-Radio App Swell


Apple Inc.AAPL +1.38% will acquire Inc. and discontinue the startup’s mobiletalk-radio app Swell, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

The purchase price for the two-year-old startup was around $30 million, the person said. had a $19 million valuation last July when it closed its Series A funding round, VentureWire reported.

Swell delivers a personalized audio news feed from sites such as NPR, TED Talks and Harvard Business Review, similar to what Pandora delivers for music. As users skip or stay on content, that data is fed into the algorithm, which then suggests new content.

Incubated at venture firm Charles River Ventures, where founder and Chief Executive Ram Ramkumar was an entrepreneur in residence, raised $5.4 million last year in what Mr. Ramkumar then described as an oversubscribed funding event.

The infusion, along with $1.2 million in previous seed funding, was intended to help the startup continue to improve its app and scale from hundreds of thousands of users to millions of users. The last app update was December 2013. Investors included Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Google Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Draper Nexus Ventures and InterWest Partners.

The acquisition by Apple is the latest in a string of deals by the consumer electronics giant and could reflect a push by Apple to assume a larger role in streaming music and audio content.

News of the sales was earlier reported by Re/code.

Write to Lizette Chapman at Follow her on Twitter at@zettewil

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