Snapchat sewed up its first acquisition in Israel this week, according to the outlet Calcalist News. It acquired four-year-old Cimagine, whose augmented reality platform lets consumers instantly visualize products they want to buy in their intended location, paying what Calcalist says was between $30 million and $40 million.
According to its LinkedIn page, Cimagine currently works with brands like Jerome’s, a furniture store franchise in Southern California; the U.K.-based digital retailer Shop Direct; and the global giant Coca Cola — its cloud-based mobile platform aiming to help these companies augment their sites and mobile apps and boost online conversion rates and in-store sales in the process.
Presumably, Snapchat will use the tech to further enhance campaigns like we’ve seen in the past with, say, Starbucks, which launched a Snapchat chilled summer drinks campaign last summer, giving Starbucks drinkers the ability to superimpose a lens over a picture of their icy Frappuccino beverage and send it to their friends.
This also looks like a talent grab, with Cimagine’s four cofounders — Ozi Egri, Amiram Avraham, Nir Daube and CEO Yoni Nevo — each specialists in the fields of computer vision and image processing.
The move would also seem to give Snapchat a way to begin building out a development center in Israel if it wants.
CrunchBase shows that Cimagine had raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding, including from iVentures Asia, OurCrowd, and Plus Ventures.
Snapchat is meanwhile reportedly moving forward with an IPO that could value the company at between $20 billion and $25 billion and is expected to come as early as March.
Snapchat, more recently rebranded as Snap Inc., is known to have made roughly half a dozen smaller acquisitions this year (though others may have flown under the radar of the media). These include an adtech company called Flite (the deal was described as an acquihire); the mobile search app Vurb, for which Snapchat paid a reported $110 million; a computer vision startup called Seene that allowed users to take three-dimensional selfies (terms were not disclosed); and Bitstrips, a maker of personalized emojis known as bitmojis. Snap reportedly paid $100 million for the company.