In what appears to be part of a summer shopping spree, Apple is reported to be buying Swell, a radio app much like Pandora but focused on talk radio. According to Re/Code, the deal is worth approximately $30 million.
Swell is a product out of Concept.io, a startup founded back in 2012 in Mountain View and led by CEO and co-founder G.D. “Ram” Ramkumar. Swell takes all the best parts of Pandora and applies them to talk radio, but even goes a step further to deliver an amazing talk radio experience inside the car, a transition that has been difficult for some music streaming startups.
Watching your behavior while you use the app combined with a touch of human curation allows the app to serve up content you’ll like with little input needed from you.
The company raised a total of $7.2 million in the last couple years — a $1.8 million seed round was led by CRV and Andreessen Horowitz in 2012, and a $5.4 million Series A was led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, with participation from Google Ventures, InterWest Partners, Correlation Ventures, and Draper Nexus Ventures. That most recent round just closed earlier this month.
The app launched in June of 2013.
As part of the acquisition, the Swell app will reportedly shut down this week as the employees head to 1 Infinite Loop.
Apple is currently working on its music strategy, both in the car and elsewhere. Recently, the company spent $3 billion to acquire Beats Music in a deal that is still seeking U.S. regulatory approval, though Europe has just approved the deal today.
With Swell, Apple is adding a team of experienced entrepreneurs to its team, which should help its struggling Podcast app considerably, if not transform it into something totally new.
This isn’t the first acquisition for Ramkumar and his team. Back in 2009, they sold their startup SnapTell to an Amazon subsidiary A9.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the deal, but have yet to receive a response.