22 Jun Snapchat acquires social map app Zenly for $250M to $350M
Snapchat’s latest characteristic, Snap Map, relies on its newest acquisition, social mapping startup Zenly. TechCrunch has realized that Snapchat has purchased Zenly for between $250 million and $350 million in largely money and a few inventory in a deal that closed in late May. Snapchat will maintain Zenly working independently, related to how Facebook lets Instagram run independently.
Zenly’s app lets customers see the place their associates at the moment are on a map utilizing fixed GPS within the background. People can then message these associates within the app to make plans to hang around.
The Paris-based startup’s app has four million downloads in accordance to Sensor Tower, with 28% from France but additionally sizeable numbers in Asia together with 12% in South Korea and eight% in Japan. The app is generally utilized by teenagers making an attempt to sustain with their associates round city, at college, or at concert events and different occasions. Zenly had raised $35.1 million, together with a $22.5 million Series B in September 2016 led by prestigious Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency Benchmark.
This morning, Snapchat launched its Snap Map location-sharing and location-based content material discovery characteristic. It works barely in another way, solely pulling your location once you open the app, however in any other case appears to be like so related to Zenly that we suspected Snapchat had copied it. Sources instructed us Snap expressed acquisition curiosity, however Zenly initially rejected them.
After extra digging, we’ve realized from sources shut to the deal that Snapchat did in reality purchase Zenly. A Zenly phrases of service change on May 25th could also be associated to the deal. A Snapchat worker has additionally been noticed retweeting individuals congratulating Zenly’s founders.
Rather than shutting down Zenly and folding it into Snapchat, Snap Inc. will enable Zenly to run considerably autonomously. We requested Snap, nevertheless it declined to remark, and Zenly hasn’t returned our inquiries. Instead, right here’s TechCrunch’s interview with Zenly CEO Antoine Martin at Disrupt London final 12 months.
With each Snap Map and Zenly, Snap Inc. is hedging its bets within the social content material house. Because its Snapchat Stories characteristic is being aggressively copied by Instagram and Facebook’s different apps, Snapchat is smart to develop into the social utility house of serving to individuals meet up offline. Now Snap may personal two totally different apps on individuals’s residence screens.
Making plans with associates includes a excessive diploma of intent — about what individuals need to eat or do — there are many promoting and partnership alternatives down the road. You may think about eating places, film studios and extra hoping to hit Zenly or Snap Map customers with adverts as they plan to exit with associates.
While $250 million to $350 million might look like loads to pay for Zenly, Snapchat has seen a lot of its different costly acquisitions end up effectively. It purchased Looksery for $150 million in money and bonuses, which went on to energy its iconic augmented actuality face filters. It purchased Bitstrips for $64.2 million, which has flourished as Snapchat’s Bitmoji customized avatar stickers. Story Search, QR Snapcodes and its Spectacles glasses had been all based mostly off its acquisitions of Vurb, Scan.me and Vergence Labs, respectively.
Zenly doesn’t appear to match with Snap’s mission to be a digicam firm. But shopping for an app for assembly up with associates may let Snapchat personal the trail to doing the issues value capturing on digicam.