Apple has made 15 strategic acquisitions over the past year, with the most recent being Topsy and Prime Sense, the company responsible for the motion tracking technology behind the Xbox 360 Kinect. Apple does not typically announce these acquisitions, so news of actual companies requires a bit of investigative journalism. 9to5 today has done just that, using LinkedIn to aid in their research and seemingly confirming Apple’s acquisition of BroadMap and Catch.
BroadMap, as the name would suggest, is a company whose focus is on digital maps. The companies website describes BroadMap as providing government, non-profit and commercial business partners with custom-fit Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions. BroadMap is a driving force and pioneer in the areas of digital mapping products and services, telecom, location intelligence and web & mobile applications.
They go on to say their “expertise and knowledge of expertise and knowledge of geospatial data is unsurpassed in the industry and provides us with the ability to provide our customers with solutions to even the toughest GIS and location challenges.”
The CEO of BroadMap, lists a number of achievements on his LinkedIn page, one of which includes positioning the company for acquisition by a Fortune 5 company. Apple is technically the 6th company on Fortune’s list, but the others (Walmart, Exxon Mobile, Chevron, Phillips 66, Berkshire Hathaway) don’t appear to have a need for a digital mapping company. Multiple members of their executive team have now gone to work for Apple.
Apple has had their share of bad press after they took over the iOS mapping duties from Google Maps when iOS 6 was introduced. Looking outside of the company at a company like BroadMaps makes sense.
Also on the list of likely acquisitions is Catch, a notes application which had been available for both Android and iOS. The cross platform note taking application gained recognition from Apple, using it in banners that were hung in the Apple Store. The productivity application was similar in ways to Evernote. Catch ceased business operations in August citing a ‘difficult decision to take the company in a different direction.’ Their VP of Business Development notes the 3.5 million user-base before being acquired. 9to5Mac cites a multiple sources who confirmed that former Catch employees are now working for Apple on iOS.
Apple hasn’t commented on the report, but AllThingsD corroborated the reporting of Mark Gurman, saying that both companies have been bought by Apple months ago.