Apple has reportedly acquired a mapping startup in a move that could challenge Google and its web and mobile mapping service
Apple paid between $25m and $30m for Mapsense, according to Re/code's multiple sources, and the company's team of 12 will join the Apple fold.
The acquisition will provide access to Mapsense's cloud-based technology in which data can be overlaid onto maps to create a more visual way to make sense of large amounts of information based on geographical locations.
Mapsense launched a developer platform earlier this year allowing its technology to be embedded into apps, which the company said has seen particular adoption in the advertising and financial sectors.
Apple maintained its reputation for being tight-lipped when it comes to new products and strategy, and declined to discuss the purchase. Mapsense has not indicated on any of its media channels that it has been acquired.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the company said in a statement to Re/code.
The acquisition indicates that Apple is expanding its digital mapping operations, particularly after the disastrous Maps app that arrived with the rollout of iOS 6.
Such a move will inevitably see Apple bump heads with Google, which has long been a major force in the mapping market having built out Google Maps to offer navigation services, attraction recommendations, street views and other features on multiple platforms.
The purchase of Mapsense will be a significant boon for the startup that was founded just two years ago by former engineer Erez Cohen, who previously worked at data science firm Palantir Technologies.
Apple has been busy with acquisitions this year, having also bought NoSQL database firm FoundationDB in March.
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