Google Buys Bump, a Popular File-Sharing App That Fought to Find its Groove
Tech giant Google has gobbled up Bump, the mobile app startup that allowed users to share files simply by "bumping" their smartphones. Yeah, kind of like a fist bump but with phones. And data is shared.
The deal was announced yesterday on the Bump blog by co-founder and chief executive David Lieb. The Bump team will join Google and continue to operate as usual "for now," Lieb said.
"Our mission at Bump has always been to build the simplest tools for sharing the information you care about with other people and devices," Lieb wrote. "We strive to create experiences that feel like magic, enabled behind the scene with innovations in math, data processing, and algorithms."
Bump had raised nearly $20 million from investors including Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Google might have paid anywhere from $30 million to $60 million for the company, according to AllThingsD.
Bump was founded in 2008 after Lieb, then a student at the University of Chicago's MBA program, found himself daydreaming of an easy, efficient way to share contact information. The app launched in March 2009 and quickly gained popularity, with more than 40 million downloads in less than two years. Today, it has more than 100 million downloads.
Bump has changed directions a number of times since its splash on the market. In 2011, for instance, Bump began allowing users to share photos, music, calendar appointments, and to become friends with other users over a Bump social network. But by early 2012, Bump 3.0 was released, effectively slashing many of the features that were added the previous year. No longer could users share calendars, music and apps. The social features disappeared. Bump decided to focus on the sharing of photos and contact information, instead.
Last year, Bump launched Flock, a group photo-sharing app. Bump has also made money by licensing its technology to developers who have used it for things like exchanging money by touching phones.
How Google might eventually utilize Bump is unclear. Google did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
Update: A Google spokesperson sent us this statement: "The Bump team has demonstrated a strong ability to quickly build and develop products that users love, and we think they’ll be a great fit at Google."
Jason Fell is director of native content for Entrepreneur, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.