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Logitech buys up Kickstarter-funded iPhone accessory startup

Logitech has announced that it has acquired iPhone accessory startup TT Design Labs, a two-person operation born less than two years ago and funded through Kickstarter.

TidyTilt, the first product developed by TT Design Labs, combines a case for the iPhone 5, which comes in plastic or leather, a kickstand for angling the smartphone's screen just so, a magnetic mount that attaches the device to the refrigerator or other metal surface, and an earbud wrap. Along with another product, the JustMount magnetic wall-mounted organiser, the TidyTilt is now available for pre-order on Logitech's site and is expected to ship in a matter of weeks.

Founded in 2011 by Derek Tarnow and Zahra Tashakorina while the pair were attending The Institute of Design in Chicago, TT Design Labs wound up raising 2,000 per cent of its funding goal on Kickstarter for the initial version of the TidyTilt. Tarnow will work full time at Logitech following the acquisition, while Tashakorina will work on "an ongoing consulting basis," the computer peripherals maker said.

"The growing popularity of crowd-sourced funding is bringing tremendous innovation in consumer electronics and TT Design Labs is a perfect example of the trend. We're excited to tap into this pool of innovation and talent while working with Derek and Zahra to develop amazing experiences around the smartphone," Eric Kintz, senior vice president and general manager at Logitech, said.

Tarnow said he and Tashakorina were caught off-guard by Logitech's interest in a fledgling enterprise like TT Design Labs.

"When Logitech approached us, we were skeptical at first — our business plan didn't include acquisition. But after speaking extensively with the Logitech team, it became clear that we share a vision for where the industry is headed and a passion for building great products," he wrote in a blog post.

"We realized that joining Logitech was an ideal situation — we get to engage the expert engineering, supply chain, distribution, and marketing minds at the company, while we get to focus more of our time on what we love most — designing great products with the user in mind," he said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.