Snap acquires Ukrainian startup AI Factory for $166M

Snap acquires Ukrainian startup AI Factory for $166M

AI Factory specializes in developing AI business solutions, it is also responsible for Snapchat’s recently released animated selfie-based Cameos feature.

Snap Inc, the parent company of multimedia messaging app Snapchat, has acquired Ukraine-based startup AI Factory. This computer vision startup is the same company that has worked on creating Snapchat’s Cameos feature.

AI Factory’s company profile shows that it provides several artificial intelligence business solutions for “image and video recognition, analysis and processing” . Thus, the Cameos feature also works on the same image and video processing technology developed by the company.

The feature allows users to take selfies, animate it, and then put a short video. Currently, the Cameos feature hosts over 150 video templates and is very popular among Snapchat users. Interestingly, AI Factory has its roots in Snapchat’s previous acquisition of another Ukranian startup Looksery.

As explained by TechCrunch, AI Factory founder Victor Shaburov is also the founder of Looksery. After Snapchat acquired Looksery in 2015, Shaburov joined Snapchat as the director of engineering. Looksery helped Snapchat to power its application with animated-selfie Lenses launched later that year.

Apart from Ukraine, AI Factory has also got its office in San Francisco. On completion of the deal and other acquisition processes, part of its team will move to the SanFrancisco office. With the new acquisition, Snap has not mentioned what development AI Factory will continue to do with the messaging app.

Snap to Release Its 2019 Results Next Month

In the latest announcement, Snap has confirmed that it will real the 2019 full-year results on February 4, 2020. Last year in 2019, the Snap Inc stock has performed really well delivering over 150% returns to investors.

From under $6 per share, the stock has climbed all the way to above $16 as of now. The Snapchat platform has been testing several interesting features in 2019 and is likely to continue its development this year as well.

Moreover, the company has been quite successful in overcoming the regulatory hurdles related to its 2017 IPO. In October 2019, Snap Inc announced that the U.S Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will no longer investigate the company on charges of misleading the investors during its 2017 IPO.

In 2018, Snap was subpoenaed for allegedly misleading investors on how the competition from Instagram was affecting its growth. Nonetheless, things have now settled for the good and Snapchat looks focused on new developments on the platform.

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