Snapchat, Snap

In an attempt to further add-on to its lens filters, Snapchat has reportedly snapped up an Israeli augmented reality startup ‘Cimagine Media.’ The transaction hasn’t been confirmed by official sources but the company is being valued at somewhere between $30 to $40 million. This development was first reported by Israeli business news site Calcalist on Christmas Day.

Cimagine is an AR-powered platform that enables users to project products into their own surroundings — at just the touch of a button. For example, it can help you easily ascertain which piece of furnitture will look pleasing with the current aesthetics of your home by placing that particular couch or dinner table right in your surroundings (via a photo or real-life Tango-like capturing).

Founded in 2012, this company is an ambitious project of four highly-skilled computer vision and machine learning programmers namely Ozi Egri, Amiram Avraham, Yoni Nevo, Nir Daube. Cimagine had previously raised an undisclosed sum from investors including OurCrowd, Explore.Dream.Discover, iVentures Asia Ltd., and PLUS Ventures. The company’s AR tech isn’t currently under development but instead has been implemented in real-life through various enterprise clients such as Coca Cola, U.K.-based digital retailer Shop Direct, and U.S-based furniture store Jerome’s.

Snapchat has reportedly acquired Cimagine to gain this expertise and set up shop in the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. The acquired company’s offices in Israel will become Snap Inc’s research and development centre and is expected to see an increase in workforce from current 20 employees in the coming weeks. It has recently also unveiled its plans of setting up a R&D Center in China as well.

Though Snapchat parent Snap Inc. is known to keep its acquisition away from limelight, they tend to surface (or get announced) due to the media attention they’ve received. This acquisition marks the company’s first ever purchase in Isreal and is further expected to complement their existing AR filter technologies. It will further the development of such technologies to make a push into your shopping or e-commerce experience and possibly sharing it with others via Snapchat.

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