Groupon founder Andrew Mason’s audio tour startup Detour has been bought to Bose. The acquisition, which includes solely the software program and tour content material – not the group – was quietly introduced on Detour’s blog a number of days in the past, adopted by an e mail to prospects. Bose, initially, looks as if an unlikely acquirer for an app designed to assist individuals uncover a metropolis by means of narrated strolling excursions. But its curiosity within the product has to do with its upcoming AR platform, which includes audio experiences delivered through a pair of sensor-laden glasses.
Bose is now “actively looking for a partner to host the Detour content,” and make it obtainable to its prospects, together with these on Bose AR. The Detour app itself will quickly shut down.
Mason says he could assist Bose a bit within the strategy of discovering that third celebration, however his focus is on his new firm, Descript.
Detour had launched a few years ago, and was solely self-funded by Mason. Its purpose was to supply vacationers and locals alike a option to uncover a metropolis’s hidden gems, like its off-the-beaten-track retailers and alleys – issues different excursions would overlook. The service arrived to the public with excursions in San Francisco beginning in 2015, earlier than later expanding to different markets, together with worldwide locations, all obtainable as in-app purchases.
The app, on the time of sale, had round 120 obtainable excursions.
As a part of the creation of its excursions, Detour had additionally developed some fascinating know-how – like a device to transcribe audio that permits you to edit the audio file by enhancing the written transcription, and a approach so as to add music and sound to a story by including it to the transcription.
This know-how has now been spun off as a brand new startup, Descript. The Detour group, together with Mason, have been engaged on Descript for round six months now. Descript, which goals to make enhancing sound information as simple as enhancing a Word doc, launched in December with $5 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz.
Given Mason’s present focus, it’s not shocking that Detour was shutting down. But it’s a little shocking it discovered an acquirer.
The app was by no means capable of acquire a large following on the dimensions of different journey guides. (It had been rating within the 400’s to 700’s within the App Store’s “Travel” class as of late – that means, virtually invisible.) However, its excursions have been distinctive and fascinating and had been designed with options others on the time lacked – like location consciousness or the flexibility to sync with a number of individuals in a gaggle, for instance.
The Detour app will stay obtainable till May 31, 2018, and all excursions might be free by means of then. Afterwards, the app might be faraway from the App Store.
“Thank you to the producers, engineers, designers, and storytellers that made Detour what it is over the last four years. I’m excited to see where Bose takes it,” wrote Mason, on Detour’s blog.
Pitchbook claims Detour had raised funding, however Mason says that’s incorrect.
“Detour is self-funded (by me) and we never disclosed how much,” he says. But he did verify that Mihir Shah, a buddy, had invested a “some token number of thousands of dollars in the very beginning,” which is why the funding is listed on Shah’s LinkedIn.
Deal phrases weren’t obtainable, nevertheless it was possible a small exit.
It’s unclear when Detour would arrive on Bose AR, as Bose remains to be within the strategy of discovering a 3rd celebration to proceed with Detour, and hasn’t but shipped check builds of its AR glasses to builders.