Apple Looks to Improve App Discovery; Purchases Chomp


With Apple preparing to celebrate 25 billion total app downloads, the celebration begins with the acquisition of San Francisco-based start-up, Chomp. Deigned to be an effective app search and discovery platform, Chomp shot on the scene in 2009 after securing seed funding.  The company subsequently closed $2.5 million over two rounds of funding from well know Silicon Valley VCs.

There is no question that the App Store is a success, but with over 500,000 apps present and accounted for it is becoming more and more difficult to find what you are looking for. If you are a developer, it’s difficult to get noticed and to be sure that yours is the app that a potential user chooses.

Chomp has become the leading search engine for apps by engaging a “proprietary algorithm [that] learns the functions and topics of apps, so you can search based on what apps do, not just what they’re called.” The company suggests searching for terms and phrases like “puzzle games”, “kids games”, “expense trackers”, “tip calculators” or “chat” in order to see the difference Chomp can make.

While the exact details of the deal are not yet known, Bloomberg is reporting that Apple paid around $50 million for the California based startup. Chomp currently has around 20 employees that should be making their way to some new Cupertino-based office space as the team gets integrated into Apple’s iTunes group.

There has been no official statement from Apple or Chomp yet regarding this deal –or from Verizon who previously secured Chomp as their dedicated search provider for Android apps. The expectation is that Apple will allow the company to honor their previous commitments but I would think that going forward that will change.

In addition to the web-based search engine, Chomp is also available as a native app for the iPhone and Android devices.

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