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Snapchat Buys Mobile Search Application Vurb

By Victor Thomson , Aug 16, 2016 04:38 AM EDT
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Snapchat acquires the mobile search startup Vurb in its aim to expand its services and help its users organize a night out with friends or more.

Snapchat's Deal To Acquire Vurb

TechCrunch reports that Snapchat made a deal to acquire mobile search startup Vurb. According to The Information, the deal is already in the closing stages of talks, with Snapchat agreeing to pay $110 million for Vurb (25 percent cash, 75 percent stock). It is also reported that Snapchat will offer $75 million in retention bonuses to Vurb founder and CEO Bobby Lo.

According to The Verge, it is yet unclear what Snapchat exactly plans to do with the five-year-old startup. It is possible that the company intends to repurpose Vurb's technology either for potential future features like recommendations/discovery or for integration within messages.

According to Recode, this is the second big acquisition for Snapchat this year, after purchasing the company behind Bitmoji. Snapchat has already introduced personalized Bitmoji stickers. Last year, Snapchat has acquired Ukrainian startup Looksery and introduced the popular face "lenses" feature as a result of the buyout.

The Specifics Of Vurb's Services

Vurb markets its application as a convenient tool for searching, carrying out tasks like making reservations and hailing Lyft / Uber, as well as discovering trending news without the need to switch between several different apps. However, Vurb was never been very successful on Google Play or on the App Store.

Vurb has won, however, the Startup Battlefield completion at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY 2014 with its particular vision on mobile search focused around browsing rather than on results pages. The smart Vurb mobile search could help users find a theater to watch a movie and restaurant nearby to have dinner, check out movies and hail a ride. All these options can be bundled in order to be shared with friends. The mobile decision-making becomes collaborative with Vurb, a vision that is lacking in traditional search engines.

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