Snapchat Acquires Eyeglass Video Camera Startup Vergence Labs for $15 Million.
The now-infamous Sony Pictures Entertainment email leak has revealed some interesting information about temporary messaging service Snapchat: the company has acquired multiple companies for millions of dollars, including a startup called Vergence Labs, known for its video recording eyeglass line Epiphany Eyewear.
Snapchat paid $15 million for Vergence Labs. $11 million of that was in cash, and $4 million was in stock. Snapchat itself was recently offered an acquisition deal from Facebook for $3 billion. The offer was turned down. Erick Miller and Jon Rodriguez founded Vergence Labs in December 2011. The company went on to develop Epiphany Eyewear, which was crowdfunded on Indiegogo in the summer of 2012. Epiphany Eyewear was released to consumers in 2013.
Some are quick to compare Epiphany Eyewear with Google Glass, but this wearable specializes in point of view shot video recording. The eyeglasses are equipped with a high-definition digital video camera, WiFi and USB connectivity, and mobile device integration. Its design is similar to those worn by Buddy Holly, and prescription lenses can be installed by an optometrist if needed. The darkness of the lens is controlled by the frames. Currently, Epiphany Eyewear sells for $299 with 8GB of memory, $399 with 16GB, and $499 with 32GB. The product is completely sold out on the Epiphany Eyewear website.
According to the Sony emails, Snapchat’s other two startup acquisitions are a QR scanning and iBeacon company called Scan.me and video platform AddLive. The emails also say that Snapchat is planning to expand into the music market.
Snapchat has made no official announcements regarding this expansion or the three acquisitions, though AddLive’s website states they are “very happy to announce that AddLive is joining Snapchat.” Vergence Lab has not has not announced the acquisition.