API integration developer Stamplay isn’t a household name, but that’s the type of company Apple tends to acquire: a small business that could enhance or expand its existing offerings. Italian publication 24 Ore reports today that Apple has purchased the Rome-based startup, which notably won a contest to make the best use of new Visa APIs.
Apple’s specific interest in Stamplay isn’t clear, and it generally describes its small acquisitions with a blanket statement that it doesn’t intend to discuss their purposes. But it’s noteworthy that this startup has experience in the financial payments industry, a sector that Apple entered with Apple Pay, and is expected to expand upon with a self-branded credit card next week.
As Stamplay cofounder Giuliano Iacobelli puts it, the company’s focus is “Lego for APIs,” enabling a business’ developers to more simply connect both internal and external APIs to apps — effectively, enabling one app to offer features supplied by different developers. In a slide at Visa’s contest, the company portrayed itself as Super Mario’s fire flower power-up, transforming little Mario into a fireball-throwing giant with “ultimate API-based commerce experiences.”
While Stamplay’s website has been scrubbed of details at this point, it describes itself densely as offering a
Low code workflow automation platform, empowering organizations to streamline manual work by integrating data and business applications used every day.
Unusually, a clearer definition emerges in its legal terms, where it says it offers a service for “rapid application development on the Internet,” accessible to “initiate building web applications” that can “create [an] application by mixing [Stamplay] services and third party APIs.” Stamplay had offices in Rome, London, and San Francisco, and after winning Visa’s Everywhere Initiative API contest in 2016, was entrusted with an unspecified development project for the payments giant.
Apple reportedly paid 5 million euros ($5.678 million) for Stamplay, and agreed to permanently keep the founders at the company, albeit now as Apple employees. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this if we receive additional details.