Snapchat Paid $15M to Acquire SmartGlasses Maker
For $299, you can buy a pair of Epiphany Eyewear frames, glasses that discretely shoots high definition video and flings it to the cloud for storage. Those frames are made by Vergence Labs, and it’s just been discovered today that Vergence is actually owned by – of all companies – Snapchat. The news is but the latest information to come from the massive hack suffered by people working at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The news broke on Business Insider last night, which reports that Snapchat had acquired Vergence Labs back in March for a cool $11 million in cash and another $4 million in stock. Apparently this information was discussed via email, and comes from the inbox of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, who sits on Snapchat’s board. Meanwhile, there’s no mention of Snapchat’s ownership on either the Vergence Labs website, nor that of Epiphany Eyewear.
This raises a few questions. For starters, what does Snapchat gain from owning Vergence Labs? There’s definitely something to be said for integrating its app into the video-shooting smartglasses, each pair of which contains up to 32 GB of solid state internal storage. But beyond that, why should Snapchat concern itself with hardware at all?
Even more interesting, however, is the fact that the acquisition was made in secret. None of the companies involved have apparently shared the fact that they’re intertwined, something of an anomaly in an industry that regularly features acquisition and merger announcements. How does Snapchat benefit by keeping its acquisition of Vergence Labs under wraps? And what will happen now that the information is out in the open?
It’s an interesting development, and an unexpected one to come out of the Sony Pictures hack. If nothing else, perhaps the breaking of this news will force Snapchat’s hand and it’ll lay its cards out on the table in short order.
[Source: Business Insider]
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