Apple buys US-Indian co-founded 'Topsy' for $200 Million
SI Team
Monday, January 6, 2014
The growing proficiency of innovative technology companies founded by is drawing a great deal of attention from global corporations that are eager to acquire fresh ideas and skilled workers. Recently, Apple, the global giant, has acquired Topsy Labs, a social media analytics firm co-founded by Indian Americans Rishab Aiyer Ghosh and Vipul Ved Prakash, for a whopping $200 million. The dynamic company that tracks trending topics on microblogging site Twitter and other social media networks has scrutinized all tweets since 2006 and has pronounced a free search engine for tweets. The differentiating factor for Topsy is that it tracks what users are saying on Twitter as it happens. Topsy also tracks how often terms are being tweeted.

Although there are hundreds of companies founded in recent years to monetize the growing demand for insight into consumer behavior based on social media interactions, Prakash's Topsy is one of the only four companies with certified access to Twitter feed.

With Apple acquiring Topsy labs, Delhi's Vipul Ved Prakash, the founder of the startup, hit the big league. Prakash founded Topsy in 2007 with Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, another Indian techie, and two others, Gary Iwatani and Justin Foutts. Topsy's Chief Technology Officer Prakash is a pioneer in the field of collaborative filtering. In 2001, Prakash co-founded Cloudmark to create an Internet scale version of his open-source spam filter, Vipul's Razor. Cloudmark crossed one billion subscribers in 2009 and is the leading worldwide platform for messaging security. Before Cloudmark, Prakash was an engineer at Napster and was named one of the Top 100 Young Innovators in the world by MIT Technology Review. Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, chief scientist at Topsy, started First Monday, the most widely read peer-reviewed journal of the Internet, in 1995.

Situated in San Francisco, the start-up, also runs a free search engine that possess an index of every tweet posted since 2006, a resource that's not publicly available on Twitter's own online messaging service. It mines social media data for customer preferences and trends found useful by clients ranging from governments to Hollywood studios.

Apple has been trying to boost its mobile advertising revenue for years. It is envisaged that twitter might help Apple sell more advertising on iPhones and iPads. Topsy's twitter tools also could be used simply to give the iPhone a search feature that is not available on rival products running on Google's Android operating system.
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