Apple has acquired Particle, a San Francisco creative consulting company specializing in web applications and marketing projects, all done in HTML5.
Particle was founded in early 2008 and has some celebrity financial backing. Pop star-turned-actor Justin Timberlake is an investor and helped fund short social video service Robo.to, which Particle created. Sources with knowledge of the deal did not know the selling price.
The deal is reported to have closed late last month, and not all of its just under a dozen employees stayed on to work at Apple. Some who did are listed as “creative technologists” and also one “user interface engineer,”in their public LinkedIn profiles.
The company has worked with Google, Motorola, Amazon, Apple, and others on HTML5 based projects. Among the group’s projects are “labs” projects such as Intervue.me, an asynchronous video interviewing project.
Apple has put a focus on HTML5 in its product pages, iAd advertising service, and iCloud.com.
CNET mentions a blurb from Particle’s history with Apple to point to how Apple might utilize some of its team:
“Particle brings positive and energetic relationships with Google and the Chrome team specifically, as well as great Apple relationships and execution experience around iAds, iTunes Extras, and Apple.com. We have participated in and piloted much of the technology which will display the next generation of advertising and deliver media content for the next decade.”
Or, Apple could just be wanting to “bring sexy back” to web development.