Apple acquires location recommendation service Spotsetter


Apple has quietly acquired location-based recommendation service ‘Spotsetter,’ according to TechCrunch. The site doesn’t offer any specifics on the deal, but does note that it’s hearing that investors in the company are “happy, so to speak.”

The buyout is said to be mainly about acquiring Spotsetter’s technology, and the talent of the two founders—one of which is an ex-Google Maps engineer. LinkedIn profiles show that the pair, and much of their team, are now working at Apple…

TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez has the scoop:

Spotsetter, a social search engine using big data to offer personalized recommendations as to places to go, has been quietly snapped up by Apple, TechCrunch has learned. The technology, which involves layering social data on top of a maps interface could be used to beef up Apple Maps with features competitor Google lacks. […]

Spotsetter debuted during AngelPad’s Spring 2012 class, then later went on to raise $1.3 million in seed funding from Rahul Prakash, 2020 Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners in addition to AngelPad, according to CrunchBase. We don’t know the specifics of the deal terms at this time, but hear that the “investors are happy,” so to speak. 

For those unfamiliar with the service, Spotsetter combined friends’ recommendations, trusted reviews and other data to offer a more ‘social’ maps experience. It used an algorithm to pull in users’ content from Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and the like.

Using the app, you could look up virtually any place or category, and be presented with custom results, as well as see what your friends said about the places around you. You could also discover new places by browsing popular local hangout spots.

Until recently, Spotsetter was available on both iOS and Android, but the company was eventually hoping to make the leap to wearables. This may be another reason that Apple acquired them, as it is widely rumored to be working on a smartwatch.

Last month, Tim Cook told the New York Times that Apple has purchased 27 companies since last year.