Apple Reportedly Acquired Mapping Firm BroadMap, Note-Sharing App Catch in 2013
Apple 'likely' acquired mapping firm BroadMap, and note taking app Catch in 2013, reports 9to5mac, citing "evidence and chatter from sources."
The first company, BroadMap, is a comprehensive mapping firm thats works with several large business, governments and companies. On his LinkedIn profile, BroadMaps CEO Daniel Perrone notes how the firm was acquired by a Fortune 5 company. While Apple technically is not a Fortune 5 company (It is Number 6 on the Fortune 2013 List), many of the company's executives show on Apple's mapping team as managers or engineers, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
We have specifically heard from a source directly familiar with Apple’s mergers and acquisitions process that Apple acquired BroadMap. The source says that the acquisition was mostly centered around talent, not solely BroadMap’s technology. In addition to the information from our source, there is evidence online that Apple made the acquisition.
In addition to BroadMap, Apple reportedly acquired Catch as well. Catch was a popular cross-platform note-sharing app, similar to Evernote. It had a very simply interface and had the ability to sync all notes over the cloud. However, the company mysteriously shutdown in August citing a “difficult decision to take the company in a different direction.”
We have heard from multiple sources that the majority of Catch employees are now working for Apple. The sources say that the former list of Catch employees, which even includes co-founder Andreas Schobel, are working on iOS-related software. Of course, it is always plausible that Catch was bought by another company and the co-founder and several engineers ended up joining Apple, but that seems slightly unlikely and too much of a coincidence.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook noted in the Q4 Earnings call that the company acquired 15 firms alone in 2013, including AlgoTrim, Matcha.tv, Passif and more. Apple also focused many acquisitions on improving its Maps application, by acquiring firms such as Embark Transit App, Hopstop, Locationary and more.
Update: Allthingsd is confirming the acquisitions.