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Apple to Acquire Struggling Startup Color Labs [REPORT]


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Apple is about to acquire Color Labs, the company behind failed photo- and video-sharing app Color, reports suggest.

Sources tell The Next Web that Apple snagged the struggling startup for a multimillion-dollar price tag in the ?high double digits,? though the deal has yet to be finalized.

Plagued with a faltering user base and unstable executive leadership, Apple?s acquisition would rejuvenate Color, which recently shut down its flagship app just after a year after relaunching it.

Earlier reports that Color was closing up shop proved untrue. Shareholders and board members of the Palo, Alto, Calif.-based company apparently voted to shut down Color last month after co-founder and CEO Bill Nguyen ?stepped away from his day-to-day duties,? according to TechCrunch.

An email sent by Color?s finance vice president Andrew Urushima on Tuesday, revealed that the company is facing an overhaul.

?Color is going through a number of changes. Last week, the Board and major shareholders voted to wind down the company,? Urushima says in the email, which was attained by VentureBeat.

After securing $41 million in pre-launch venture capital, Color debuted a photo-sharing app last March to lackluster response; it continued to struggle despite relaunching the app with Facebook integration and video-sharing features six months later. This May, the company teamed up with Verizon to pre-install its app on the mobile carrier?s 4G LTE-enabled Android phones; still Color?s number of active users only increased from 50,000 in May to around 400,000 in September. In isolation, these numbers aren?t too bad, but they pale in comparison to competitors such as Instagram, which has more than 7 million daily active mobile users.

Should the rumors prove true, it wouldn?t be the first time that Apple acquires one of Nguyen?s startups. In 2009, the iPhone maker spent $80 million to buy online music service Lala, which Nguyen founded.