Apple pays $50 million for Aussie start-up – and then scraps it

Apple has discontinued Chomp, an Australian-founded app search and discovery start-up, after paying a reported $50 million for the business just eight months ago.


Chomp’s website now automatically diverts to Apple’s homepage, while existing users of Chomp’s iOS app have been shut out of the download with the message ‘Chomp has been discontinued as of September 30. Thanks for being a loyal user.’


An Apple Australia spokesman refused to comment on the closure to StartupSmart, although, according to reports, the company has confirmed the move in the US.


Chomp, which launched in early 2010, was a search tool for Apple’s App Store. It subsequently expanded to Google’s Android platform.


The business was created by Sydneysiders Ben Keighran and Cathy Edwards, who had relocated to San Francisco.


Chomp hired 20 people and had already raised $2.5 million in funding before Apple spent a reported $US50 million for the business in February.


In a terse statement at the time of the acquisition, Apple failed to outline what it would do with Chomp, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”


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