Apple is known to purchase startups and companies from time to time, the latest one is Mobeewave, a startup that could possibly turn iPhones into payment terminals.
Purchases are usually kept secret, with Apple never directly confirming them, instead, outlets like Bloomberg get the internal scoop. Now, there’s a new scoop. Calcalist reports that in 2019 at a Berkshire Hathway Conference Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple had bought around 25 companies that year, but didn’t disclose their names.
According to Calcalist, one of the startups Apple bought was Israeli startup Camerai Ltd. for “several tens of millions of dollars,” which then went to quietly join Apple’s computer vision team.
Camerai’s technology became a significant part of every Apple camera with an emphasis on augmented reality and video technology capabilities. Its founders kept the company in stealth mode throughout its years of existence and even after the acquisition kept media silence and never spoke about the sale or the fact that they now work under Apple.
The companies technology allows developers to create AR experience without technical code or experience which fits perfectly with Apple’s ARKit plans. At the time of purchase, the company had 13 employees who were transferred to Apple’s office in the Israeli city of Herzliya. Apple operates an extensive operation in Israel focused on research and development for local purchases and recruiting of staff, in total, it employs 1,500+ employees in its offices in Herzliya and Haifa.
Apple never confirms or comments on purchases, instead says that they buy “smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”