Image messaging app Snapchat has bought Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine for a sum in the neighborhood of $30 million-$40 million, Israeli financial website Calcalist reported Sunday, saying the Silicon Valley social media firm will use the Israeli acquisition to start research and development activities in Israel.
The deal is the first for Snapchat in Israel, Calcalist said, adding that the 20-person company based in Kfar Yehoshua, near Nazareth, is expected to hire more workers in the near future, following the acquisition.
Founded in 2012 by CEO Yoni Nevo with Nir Daube, VP Product and Ozi Egri, VP R&D, the augmented reality technology for businesses developed by Cimagine allows users, like customers of UK retailer Shop Direct, “to visualize products in life-like 3D images at the click of a button.” This enables, for instance, users to visualize furniture and appliances placed virtually in their home spaces via their mobile devices.
The Israeli company has activities in the UK, the USA and Australia, according to the company’s website.
An email to Cimagine seeking comment was not immediately replied.
Cimagine was chosen by Inc.com and Microsoft as one of Israel’s most promising startups, and by Forbes as one of the Israeli companies to watch in 2016, the company said on its website.
High-tech exits in Israel dropped by 67 percent in 2016, to $3.5 billion from $10.69 billion last year, a report by PWC released last week showed. Exits are defined as initial public offerings and merger and acquisition deals.