Snapchat’s newest feature, Snap Map, is formed on a latest acquisition, amicable mapping startup Zenly. TechCrunch has schooled that Snapchat has bought Zenly for between $250 million and $350 million in mostly money and some batch in a understanding that sealed in late May. Snapchat will keep Zenly regulating independently, identical to how Facebook lets Instagram run independently.
Zenly’s app lets users see where their friends now are on a map regulating consistent GPS in a background. People can afterwards summary these friends in a app to make skeleton to hang out.
The Paris-based startup’s app has 4 million downloads according to Sensor Tower, with 28% from France though also sizeable numbers in Asia including 12% in South Korea and 8% in Japan. The app is mostly used by teenagers perplexing to keep adult with their friends around town, during school, or during concerts and other events. Zenly had lifted $35.1 million, including a $22.5 million Series B in Sep 2016 led by prestigious Silicon Valley try collateral organisation Benchmark.
This morning, Snapchat launched a Snap Map location-sharing and location-based calm find feature. It works rather differently, usually pulling your plcae when we open a app, though differently looks so identical to Zenly that we suspected Snapchat had copied it. Sources told us Snap voiced merger interest, though Zenly primarily deserted them.
Rather than shutting down Zenly and folding it into Snapchat, Snap Inc. will concede Zenly to run rather autonomously. We asked Snap, though it declined to comment, and Zenly hasn’t returned a inquiries. Instead, here’s TechCrunch’s interview with Zenly CEO Antoine Martin during Disrupt London final year.
With both Snap Map and Zenly, Snap Inc. is hedging a bets in a amicable calm space. Because a Snapchat Stories underline is being aggressively copied by Instagram and Facebook’s other apps, Snapchat is correct to enhance into a amicable application space of assisting people accommodate adult offline. Now Snap could possess dual opposite apps on people’s home screens.
Making skeleton with friends involves a high grade of vigilant — about what people wish to eat or do — there are copiousness of promotion and partnership opportunities down a line. You could suppose restaurants, film studios and some-more anticipating to strike Zenly or Snap Map users with ads as they devise to go out with friends.
While $250 million to $350 million might seem like a lot to compensate for Zenly, Snapchat has seen many of a other costly acquisitions spin out well. It bought Looksery for $150 million in money and bonuses, that went on to energy a iconic protracted existence face filters. It bought Bitstrips for $64.2 million, that has flourished as Snapchat’s Bitmoji personalized avatar stickers. Story Search, QR Snapcodes and a Spectacles eyeglasses were all formed off a acquisitions of Vurb, Scan.me and Vergence Labs, respectively.
Zenly doesn’t seem to fit with Snap’s goal to be a camera company. But shopping an app for assembly adult with friends could let Snapchat possess a trail to doing a things value capturing on camera.