twitter-profile-imageThe Apple acquisition train keeps on rolling. This week, the Cupertino-based company scooped up Topsy Labs, a startup that specializes in Twitter analytics, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Bellevue-based Ignition Parters was one of the firms backing Topsy, and it seems like they’ve made out fairly well for themselves. Sources close to the acquisition told the Wall Street Journal that Topsy was sold for upwards of $200 million.

It’s the second successful exit for Ignition in the past few months, after ServiceMesh sold to CSC for $158 million in mid-October.

Like its recent acquisition of PrimeSense, nobody really knows what Apple might have in store for Topsy, though social networking has never been one of the company’s strong suits. With Apple deepening its system-level integration of Twitter into both iOS and OS X, it could just be looking for a company that has the chops to improve its products’ Twitter functionality.

Topsy and Apple were not immediately available for comment. Topsy raised $15 million from Ignition and others in March 2011, and the recent acquisition could spell good news for other players in the social media analytics space, including Seattle-based Simply Measured.

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  • Colin Henry

    PrimeSense acquisition makes sense for one thing: patent portfolio. Not only can they use the IP they own for things like visual login and interaction with Siri, but they get the licensing revenue off of it from guys like Microsoft and other companies that want to use it.

    In my mind topsy makes sense for the following: Message/Event processing. The iMessage delivery platform can be very unreliable. If there were to use the IP created at Topsy to increase reliability, it would be a more attractive messaging option.

    Remember what Steve Jobs said about Siri: “[Siri is] not a search company. They’re an AI company. We have no plans to go into the search business. We don’t care about it — other people do it well.” They didn’t care about the business, they cared about the tech.

    Don’t look at the business, look at the tech.

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