It started out as an anonymous tip but it has been confirmed that Apple has acquired BookLamp.
BookLamp is one of the first companies to settle in the Water Cooler, a co-working facility in Boise. Aside from BookLamp, Boise has also produced other notable companies in tech like Proclarity, First to File and MarkMonitor. Proclarity was acquired by Microsoft, First to File by CPA Global and Mark Monitor by Thomson Reuters.
BookLamp was acquired quietly, so quietly that even the company's CEO was not able to comment on the rumor until Apple had made the confirmation. This is typical of acquisitions done by Apple but it only drew more speculations, prompting news outlets to do their own digging.
Before the confirmation, it appeared that many of BookLamp's employees have moved to Cupertino in California, where the Apple headquarters is located. It didn't help that the announcement BookLamp made that it is shutting down its Book Genome Project was vague, simply thanking users of its journey so far and hinting at changes for the future.
What is the Book Genome Project?
The Book Genome Project was BookLamp's effort at scanning writing styles in books and suggesting authors or other novels based on similarities detected. It can even analyze content and plot themes, allowing the program to discover and look for other titles to suggest better. Back in 2011, BookLamp's goal was to become a Pandora for books. In 2013, Aaron Stanton, BookLamp CEO, said the company was able to index between 40,000 and 100,000 book titles in a week.
Apple will have had access to BookLamp outside of an acquisition but it bought BookLamp anyway. This may be because BookLamp has a lot of other clients and Apple made a move to ensure that the technology behind the Book Genome Project would not be accessible to others.
It is speculated that the acquisition cost Apple anywhere between $10 and $15 million. No official figures have been provided yet. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," Apple said in a statement.
Sources say though that Apple can be expected to release major initiatives on books and reading within the next year or so.
BookLamp joins Apple's list of acquisitions within the last nine months. At the third quarterly conference for the 2014 fiscal year, CEO Tim Cook said that the company had made 29 acquisitions within the nine-month period, including Beats.