A SMARTPHONE app which allows couples to share "special moments" in their relationship has been sold to a Silicon Valley start-up for an undisclosed sum.
Cupple, which was created by North East entrepreneurs, was sold to American company Tenthbit, the owner of competitor app Pair.
The Cupple app was launched in 2011 by Tim Allison, director of Newcastle-based creative agency Darling Dash, and Mark Hill.
The aim of the app is to allow people in relationships to share pictures, locations and messages through a private service. Tim Allison said: “We launched the app just a few months ahead of Pair, and had built up a user base that was 70% in the US at last count.
“There have since been a handful of competitors appear in the private sharing space. To have launched first gave us a small advantage and we had to work hard to deliver the product.
“The acquisition itself is something we’re really proud of as a team and for the people involved with Cupple.”
Venture-backed Pair, which bought the North East app, has now been rebranded to Couple.
Mr Allison said he hoped the deal could have a positive effect on other creative design companies based in the region.
“We are happy with the outcome and hope that it acts as an inspiration for other UK start-ups. If you have a good idea, go for it!” he said.
The mobile app had a surge in popularity in February 2012, several months after its launch, when it was featured in the international press in the run-up to Valentine’s day.
Apple featured Cupple on the “Date Night” section of its App Store, while the Wall Street Journal praised it in an article about love-related apps.
It was also included in a 50-strong list of best British apps, compiled for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year.
When it was first released, Cupple proved to be most popular in the Netherlands, which accounted for 70% of its downloads.
After the Valentine’s day press, downloads increased by 500% in five days, and the US is now the primary market for the app.
Tim Allison plans to visit America over coming months to develop new business projects.
To download the new Couple app visit www.trycouple.com