Apple is aiming to improve its iTunes Radio service and troubling Podcasts app with the help of this acquisition. Multiple sources told Re/code that "Apple is close to buying the Pandora-for-talk-radio app Swell" in a deal worth about $30 million.
DFJ, Google Ventures and InterWest Partners are the main investors through which Swell has raised $7.2 million. Swell launched its iOS app last year that allows users to make their own personalized content playlists by compiling various podcasts and shows. And users can also listen to streaming news audios from iTunes, NPR, ABC, ESPN and others.
Swell Radio (@SwellApp) July 15, 2014
Swell will close its iOS app this week. The company's CEO Ram Ramkumar and his development team will join Apple as part of this acquisition deal. Swell team had already tested an Android app in beta which was not released.
Ramkumar and his team have previously sold their image-recognition startup SnapTell to Amazon. However, both Apple and Ramkumar have not responded yet to the acquisition news.
Apple has acquired Beats for $3.2 million and BookLamp for an amount in between $10-15 million recently. With Beats acquisition, Apple wants to improve iTunes music streaming service. But with the Swell acquisition, Apple is likely to focus more on its talk radio services.
Apple will focus more on improving its low rated Podcasts app that is facing performance issues. Users of Apple's Podcasts app faced major opening issues as the app constantly crashed and then went offline last month.