Messaging app Snapchat is buying Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine Media for an estimated $30-$40 million, marking Snapchat's first acquisition in Israel, the Calcalist financial daily reported on Sunday.
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Cimagine developed True Marketless Augmented Reality – technology that allows users to virtually place furniture and appliances they wish to purchase in the space of their home, on their mobile devices, at the click of a button.
Cimagine will become Snapchat's research and development center in Israel and is expected to rapidly expand its workforce from its current 20 employees, Calcalist said.
The company's highly-skilled team is probably the main reason for the acquisition, rather than its technology, Calcalist said.
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Officials at Cimagine declined to comment on the report.
The company was founded in 2012 and has raised a few million dollars.
Venice, California-based Snapchat is expected to go public as early as March with a valuation of as much as $25 billion.