Snapchat quietly acquired the social mapping application Zenly in a deal that is estimated to be worth anywhere between $250 million and $350 million. In fact, the deal is believed to have been finalized in late May itself though we are getting to know it, only now.
For the uninitiated, Zenly offers a convenient method of keeping tab of your friend’s location on a map. The app is extremely popular with the teens, and understandably so given that teens often are worried so as not to miss out on the most happening events.
No wonder they flock to Zenly just to make they are not left out of the hottest events in town. The app too has its own positives in that as it is extremely battery efficient. Instead of tracking your friends all the time, which is a battery draining exercise, the app searches for your friend’s location only when you look up for them.
The acquisition of the start-up Zenly should also explain the launch of Snapchat’s latest feature, Snap Map. If it is not already perceptible, Snap Map will help you to meet up with your friends by sharing your location with them. Interestingly, this also marks a significant departure from Snapchat’s philosophy so far, that of promoting meet-ups in a virtual environment.
The acquisition of Zenly also marks a greater foray for Snapchat into the social space. By actually helping friends to meet offline, that also could open up new ways to monetize the app. As experts opine, friends coming together to watch a film, share a few drinks or eat out open up new advertising opportunities for the concerned businesses. No doubt that makes a huge shift for Snapchat that has started out as just a camera app.
As for Zenly, the French firm has over 4 million downloads to its credit and is extremely popular in Europe, followed by Asia. It was only this last September that the Paris-based start-up had raised $22.5 million in Series B funding that forms part of a larger $35.1 million it has raised. Further, its acquisition by Snapchat won’t affect its individual existence as Zenly has the leeway to operate on its own irrespective of the Snapchat takeover.
In the end, it might be worth mentioning how Facebook or its sister apps had turned Snapchat into a hunting ground for new ideas. Maybe it would be just a matter of time before the latest one, that is Snap Map too starts appearing on Facebook as well.