Google announced today that it has acquired LabPixies, an Israeli company that develops web-based gadgets and games for its iGoogle personalized homepage, Facebook, and other social sites. The company also develops mobile apps and games for Android and iPhone like Flood-It.
It’s an unusual move for Google, which has classically avoided owning content businesses, preferring to create tools like YouTube and Google search which index and organize content produced by others.
The price of the deal wasn’t disclosed, but it’s believed to be between $15 to $25 million, according to TechCrunch. The Marker, a Hebrew-language news site, also reports the price as $25 million.
LabPixies was one of the first companies to create gadgets for iGoogle, and has also worked with Google to develop OpenSocial based gadgets worldwide. OpenSocial is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) created by Google and social networking sites — like MySpace, Hi5, and Ning — that allow Web applications to run across a variety of social sites.
The company is particularly adept at bringing its popular applications like Flood-It, Line Up, and Trio, across multiple platforms. The acquisition would give Google access to its current properties, but would also allow Google to develop apps and gadgets in the future that could easily spread across the Web and mobile devices.
The LabPixies team will work out of Google’s Tel Aviv offices. The company previously raised $1 million in first round funding from Israeli angel investors.