Apple has reportedly bought troubled, sometimes outright mocked, startup Color Labs for somewhere in the double-digit millions, or at least enough to pay off investors' who forked over $41 million to date. Color Labs was founded by entrepreneur Bill Nguyen, the same entrepreneur who also founded Lala, which was also sold to Apple, also for double-digit millions. So clearly, winning strategy. Ken Yeung and Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web have the story, and a theory as to why Apple would fill Nguyen's wallet. Again.
We would look to Color’s patents, which may include one for a file format that they were working on to record HD video. Color said that it had six patents pending at the time of its funding, including its ‘elastic’ social graph and patents related to GPS location and battery saving. Or its software engineering team could be the target, if Apple was impressed by their work.
Developer Daniel Jalkut also wrote on his Bitsplitting blog that additional patents could be at play:
Interestingly enough, Color has apparently only recently published several patent applications related to sharing of information among “device groups.” The applications listed are all published within the past month and a half, and all feature iPhone-like art in the supporting illustrations.
If Apple did indeed buy Color Labs, and Nguyen returns to Apple, it'll be interesting to see how long he lasts this time, or how long it takes him to leave an create a company names after a smell or flavor.