Google makes multi-million Bump investment

Google has acquired contactless file-sharing company Bump in a deal estimated to be worth up to $40m, as online media owners compete to offers brands a way to share messaging over the air.

Bump, whose self-named and Flock apps let mobile users share files such as business cards and photos by bumping their phones together, confirmed the purchase on a blog post yesterday (16 September). 

Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, several media reports citing sources briefed on the purchase peg the deal at the $40m mark. 

Bump was one of the early successful apps to reach a high-profile status in the early days of the app economy boom, (see video, above) however it is largely deemed to have struggled to capitalise on its early popularity.  

Google has yet to publicly comment on how it will integrate the Bump team into its fold but the purchase of Bump, which uses cloud-based computing to share files, will offer Google a potential technology alternative to near field communications (NFC).

The online services giant has backed NFC heavily over the last two years, as a payments, loyalty and potential advertising technology, since the launch of its Google Wallet initiative in 2011, but this has yet to achieve mass market traction. 

The purchase also comes a week after arch-rival Apple, which has thus-far steadfastly refused to include NFC in any of its devices, announced its own contactless file-sharing service AirDrop which also lets users share files over-the-air, as part of its upcoming iOS7 update (see video).

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