Yesterday, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that it had purchased Bump, a smartphone app company whose service allows to transfer files from one handset to another by bumping them together. Bump was one of the early hit mobile apps but never got to become a big business, despite the fact that it managed to raise about $20 million in five years, from sponsors including Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz.
Although the terms of the deal were not yet released, a report by AllThingsD suggests that the search and mobile behemoth paid at least $30 million for the company -and perhaps as much as $60 million.
The purchase comes as no surprise, as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to release its own file-sharing software (Airdrop), as part of the update of its mobile OS, in a few days from now. “Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s version allows files to be sent wirelessly but without the need to physically touch phones, provided the devices are near each other” (WSJ). And, given the fact that not all Android phones have a built-in local file-sharing function, the purchase will help Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) better fend off Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s competition in the field, by adding NFC-like functionality to Android phones that don’t have the necessary hardware. Moreover, Bump´s capability to connect diverse mobile platforms makes it an appealing option for both Android and iOS users.
However, the Bump app is not Bump’s only product. The company operates another app called Flock, which uses geolocation to automatically aggregate group photos (taken in the same place) into a single album so that several people can share them. There is some speculation around Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) having purchased Bump with one idea in mind: turning Flock into a part of Google+, as a way to simultaneously compete with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s photo sharing and Dropbox’s photo saving services.
Leaving conjectures aside, both products are very popular and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s spokespersons declared that they should be a great fit at its product portfolio, highlighting Bump´s team´s ability to create products that users love.
Bump CEO, David Lieb, assured that “Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now” and, although the now part is a little concerning, users can rest assured until further notice.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned