Messaging app Snapchat acquires Israeli augmented reality start-up Cimagine

Messaging app Snapchat Inc has acquired augmented reality start-up Cimagine, its first acquisition in Israel, local financial newspaper Calcalist yesterday reported.

Snapchat, which is reportedly planning an IPO in March 2017 with a valuation at between $20 billion - $25 billion, is acquiring Cimagine for its highly-skilled team rather than the technology, the report said.

It further pegged the acquisition amout to between $30 million and $40 million

Cimagine will become Snapchat's research and development centre in Israel and plans to expand its workforce from its current 20 employees, the report added.

Founded in 2012, Cimagine has developed True Marketless Augmented Reality – technology that allows users to virtually place furniture and appliances they wish to purchase in the space of their home, on their mobile devices at the click of a button.

The company helps retailers and manufacturers like Shop Direct, John Lewis, and Coca-Cola to allow their potential customers to visualize products in life-like 3D.

Cimagine had earlier raised money from Explore.Dream.Discover, iVentures Asia Ltd., OurCrowd, and PLUS Ventures.

Snapchat, run by co-founder and CEO Yoni Nevo has made more than half a dozen small acquisitions this year ahead of its reported IPO, including adtech company Flite, mobile search app Vurb, computer vision startup Seene and personalised emojis maker Bitstrips.