Thomson Reuters acquires Apsmart mobile platform

By Peter Gothard
11 Jun 2012 View Comments
Thomson Reuters building in Canary Wharf

Thomson Reuters has acquired UK tech start-up Apsmart in a bid to increase its capabilities in delivering information to mobile devices.

Founded in 2009 by DH Capital and Shazam app inventor Rahul Powar, Apsmart has been "at the cutting edge of mobile build and design", according to global head of mobile technology at Thomson Reuters, Bob Schukai.

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"This is a hugely important acquisition," Schukai told Computing. "We're seeing an explosion in mobile product development needs, which fits the enterprise space so well for us. Our customers are embracing it. This was a tremendous opportunity to augment the talent that we currently have within the organisation."

Schukai personally chose Apsmart because of the company's skills in building successful platform and service extensions to its apps.

"When you think about a product like Shazam or the Mira hedge fund product that they built, these guys really have a tremendous capability to understand not just how to write a great iOS app, but how to stand up an end-to-end solution that can talk to a platform, and understand the trade-off that you need to make between client and server side," said Schukai.

Schukai also said that Apsmart "came onto [his] radar" soon after it was founded in 2009.

"When I met Rahul Powar and got a chance to really look at how they understood product, very quickly I thought this was a company that could really fit exceptionally well into the vision I had for what I wanted to do with mobile at Thomson Reuters," said Schukai.

While today's Reuters press release says the Apsmart acquisition will build on the company's existing mobile technologies – which include legal research system WestlawNext and ProView eReader – Schukai maintains the new team's projects have yet to be finalised.

Apsmart's clients included Johnson & Johnson and the charitable website Just Giving. Three of its apps, including Shazam Player, Fanatix and MPme, recently appeared in UK Trade & Investment's top-50 innovative UK mobile apps list. MPme will, according to Schukai, remain under the ownership of DN Capital, while Shazam will see no further development after the "work for hire" contracts on the product are "now complete".

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