Marco Arment, the developer behind his popular read-later app Instapaper, announced today that Betaworks has acquired a majority stake in the app.
I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold a majority stake in Instapaper to Betaworks. We’ve structured the deal with Instapaper’s health and longevity as the top priority, with incentives to keep it going well into the future. I will continue advising the project indefinitely, while Betaworks will take over its operations, expand its staff, and develop it further.
Betaworks, of course, is the same company that in recent memory acquired both Bit.ly and Digg.
As for the impetus behind the sale, Arment noted that what started out as a one-man project soon became far more successful than he could have ever imagined. Indeed, Instapaper remains a bonafide hit on the iTunes App Store. Besides, you know you're doing something right when Apple mimics your functionality, as they did with the Reading List feature in Safari for both iOS and OS X.
All that said, Arment explains that for Instapaper to "really shine" would require additional staff and resources, something he's not inclined to take charge of as a one-man operation. And so, nearly 5 years after first launching in 2008, Instapaper is headed to a new home where, according to Arment, "it can be staffed and grown." Notably, Arment that he did not want to hand over the reigns of his app to a company that would be likely to shut it down just a few months later - ahem, Yahoo.
You can check out Instapaper on iTunes over here.