Disney acquires iPhone app pioneer Tapulous

Jul 1, 2010
Finance

Tapulous, one of the most commercially successful iPhone app developers since the launch of the App Store two years ago, was just acquired by Disney (DIS) for an undisclosed sum. Started in 2008 and backed by a who’s who of venture capital investors including Khosla Ventures and Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff, Tapulous by late last year […]

Tapulous, one of the most commercially successful iPhone app developers since the launch of the App Store two years ago, was just acquired by Disney (DIS) for an undisclosed sum.

Started in 2008 and backed by a who’s who of venture capital investors including Khosla Ventures and Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff, Tapulous by late last year was reportedly grossing more than $1 million per month. The company’s revenue comes from the sale of such hit titles as Tap Tap Revenge and other “tap tap” apps based around Justin Bieber, Nirvana, Coldplay, The Black Eyed Peas and the most recent installment, Nickelback Revenge.

It’s notable that Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs moonlights as Disney’s largest individual shareholder. His old side company, Pixar, was acquired by Disney in 2006.

Disney is becoming increasingly active in the mobile and social gaming space. Last month, the company – through its Steamboat Ventures investment vehicle – participated in the $33 million round raised by Mountain View-based Playdom.

As part of the Tapulous deal, the company’s CEO Bart Decrem will become a vice president at Disney. His job presumably will be to compete against Viacom (VIA) – owner of Rock Band – as well as other startups and media conglomerates making waves at the App Store.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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