Apple Acquires Vancouver’s Buddybuild

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Vancouver’s Buddybuild—a startup behind a mobile app iteration platform—is being bought by Apple to ease the company’s development and launch of new apps.

The software company announced in a blog post on Tuesday that their team is joining the Xcode engineering group at Apple, a move that will see the startup improving development workflow for iOS app developers and building apps for the App Store.

But Buddybuild’s 40-person team won’t be moving to California.

While Apple is tapping the team’s talent to build developer tools for the iOS community, the company said they’ll be staying firmly in Vancouver. The city has become a hotbed for technology giants, with both Amazon and Microsoft announcing in November they were expanding their presence with new hires and local initiatives.

The company said Buddybuild will no longer accept new customers but the service will remain available to existing customers to build, test, and ship iOS apps to testers through buddybuild.com. However, the startup will be ceasing its services for Android app development as of March 1, 2018, a natural move following an Apple acquisition.

Buddybuild had a lucrative 2016, raising $1.2 million USD in a seed round in February 2016 that was followed by a $7.6-million Series A in May. The financial terms of the new deal haven’t been disclosed by Apple.

Launched in October 2015, Buddybuild describes itself as a “first-of-its-kind service,” tying together continuous integration, continuous delivery and an iterative feedback solution into a single platform. It has been used by thousands of mobile development teams since launch, becoming the fastest way to distribute apps to users and gather bug reports, feedback and crash reports, said the company. Some of Buddybuild’s most notable clients include Slack, Reddit and the New York Times.

This isn’t the first Canadian startup to attract Apple’s attention in recent months. Apple announced it had acquired Montreal-based virtual reality headset maker Vrvana this past November in a multi-million dollar deal, a move to likely bolster the development of Apple’s own VR headset slated for 2020.

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