Tracking tag maker and vocal Apple critic Tile Inc., was recently acquired by Life360, a maker of location-sharing apps.
The deal, worth $205 million, comes after Tile raised $141 million in venture capital since its inception in 2012, a return of just 1.45 times invested capital.
Both companies said that Tile will retain its own brand identity under the leadership of CEO CJ Prober, who will also serve on the Life360 board of directors. Tile’s team of employees will also retain their posts.
Apple once wore tile tracking tags in Apple stores. However, Tile executives said Apple began to distance itself from the startup company because when it started to come up with its own tracking tag product.
Tile executives also said that Apple has implemented technical changes that have made it very difficult to pair its products with iPhones.
The competing Apple product – $30 AirTags, tiny devices that are usually attached to keys or other valuables – is easier for iPhone owners to use than third-party devices like Tile, unless third-party vendors use the tech giant’s special tools.
Kachel said that using Apple’s tools prevents the start-up from having its own app and makes its business model unworkable.