Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Acquires Bump for at Least $30M

Google has acquired the mobile startup Bump. A source close to the transaction said it was worth at least $30 million, and perhaps as much as $60 million.

fist_bump_lolcatsBump had raised about $20 million from backers including Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, so it was “not a home run,” the source admitted.

Founded in 2008, Bump made one of the original have-to-have iPhone apps, for its magic trick of transferring files by physically “bumping” phones together. It has been downloaded more than 100 million times. Over the years, the company has expanded and contracted its features, and also created a group photo-sharing app called Flock.

Bump's Flock app helps users share photos taken with a group of friends in the same place

Bump’s Flock app helps users share photos taken with a group of friends in the same place

Launched last year, Flock had proved somewhat popular; it was a Top 10 photo and video app in about 50 countries, according to App Annie.

“Bump and Flock will continue to work as they always have for now,” Bump CEO David Lieb wrote in a blog post today. That “for now” wording is ominous when it comes to startup acquisitions, but it’s notable that this was not a pure “acqhire” for the team alone.

“The Bump team has demonstrated a strong ability to quickly build and develop products that users love, and we think they’ll be a great fit at Google,” said a Google spokesperson. Google declined to comment on what team Bump will be joining.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work