Apple Bought Matcha For Its Recommendation Engine
Recently it was reported that Apple acquired Matcha, a video discovery and recommendation startup. New information about the deal reveals the reason, reports TechCrunch.
The site says that two very reliable sources have pegged the deal at between $10 and $15 million. Notably, the acquisition was not an aqui-hire; rather it was to obtain a very specific algorithm that Match had built for video recommendations.
Matcha was acquired after testing numerous approaches to generating recommendations, right at the point where it had refined its algorithm such that it saw an explosion in user growth, according to our source. The app did definitely do well on the App Store charts, and was ranked among the top 15 apps in the Entertainment category before it was shut down. It was Matcha’s user acquisition and user engagement strategy that Apple was interested in, according to one of our sources, since the acquisition happened just after Matcha had completed a round of vigorous A/B testing and had “found the answer” to rapid user growth and time spent in app. Matcha’s pairing algorithms that drove the right content to the right users simply worked best of any other apps competing in that space, the source affirms.
TechCrunch also notes that Matcha's abrupt shutdown in May was post Apple acquisition. At the time, CEO Guy Piekarz made vague statements about "something better" coming. Initial reports surmised that Apple acquired the company post shutdown; however, it appears that isn't the case.
While Matcha's recommendation engine will likely be used for the Apple TV, it could also have benefits for other parts of Apple's ecosystem as well.
More details in the full report linked below.