Google snatches up Sparrow team to work on Gmail

Google has acquired Sparrow, a popular e-mail client for Apple's Mac and iOS. Its founders says the staff is joining the Gmail team.

Google has acquired e-mail software startup Sparrow in a move that brings its team to work on Google's Gmail product.

Sparrow's chief executive Dom Leca announced the news on the company's site and Twitter account this morning, as well as in an e-mail to existing Sparrow users.

Leca says that the company will continue to make Sparrow available, and keep it up and running with support, however the two versions of the product will not gain any new features.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Citing sources, The Verge suggests the deal came in at "under" $25 million.

Sparrow came onto the scene last February for Apple's Mac OS, and arrived on iOS a month later. The software worked with POP and IMAP accounts, including Google's Gmail. The software was noteworthy for how it displayed messages, with the capability to go from a Twitter-like single pane viewer all the way to a three-column view akin to Microsoft's Outlook.

Leca's full message to users below:

We're excited to announce that Sparrow has been acquired by Google!

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision -- one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

We'd like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we'll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.

We had an amazing ride and can't thank you enough.

Full speed ahead!

Dom Leca
CEO
Sparrow

We also want to thank our advisors and investors -- Loren Brichter, Dave Morin, John Maeda, Xavier Niel, Jérémie Berrebi -- as well as our friends and family: Simon Istolainen, Jérémie Kanza, Sacha Cayre, Cedric Gepner, Laurent Merlinot, Didier Kuhn, Christophe Baillon, Laurent Cerveau, Christophe Giaume, Sebastien Maury, Manuel Colom, Bertrand Guiheneuf and all of you who have helped us along the way.

This is Google's latest Gmail-related acquisition. The company acquired e-mail security and spam filtering startup Postini in mid-2007, as well as reMail for its e-mail search technology in early 2010.

Here's a video of the iOS version of the software in action:


Sparrow iPhone from domleca on Vimeo.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. PT to note that no new features will be added to the software.

 

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