Popular iOS Company FiftyThree Acquired by WeTransfer

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FiftyThree is a drawing app that launched in 2012. The app—Paper—quickly became popular and Apple named it the iPad App of the Year. And now the company got acquired by WeTransfer, a cloud-based file transfer company (via Wired).


Wired interviewed FiftyThree cofounder and CEO Georg Petschnigg. The terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, but WeTransfer said it had acquired everything from the patent portfolio to app assets. Have no fear, the apps aren’t being killed off. Rather, they will continue with “increased investment and support.”

Logos of WeTransfer and FiftyThree.

Mr. Petschnigg says that the two companies were “in each other’s orbits” for a long time, because of shared investors and advisors Troy Carter and Suzy Ryoo. Acquisition talks first started around November 2017 after FiftyThree launched its Paste app.

In the interview he said that at the time of the acquisition, FiftyThree was not profitable. He mentions the App Store’s new subscription model, as well as free apps supported by ads. So maybe the pricing will change in the future?

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Subscriptions and advertising, just what every Paper user ever was vehemently not demanding.

It is disappointing though if the iPad App of the Year apparently can’t make any money on the App Store.