Messaging app startup Snapchat is acquiring San Francisco-based startup Vurb, a card-based contextual search engine app for Apple and Android devices, reportedly for $110 million, in addition to “team retention payouts totaling nearly as much,” according to The Information.
In late March, Snapchat agreed to acquire Bitstrips Inc., a Toronto-based maker of personalized emojis known as bitmojis, for $100 million, and in June it acquired Obvious engineering. The startup has reportedly raised a total of $2.65 billion to date. Snapchat’s investors include Alibaba, Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding, Yahoo, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tencent, Benchmark, Fidelity Investments, General Atlantic, IVP, and other premier investors.
Snapchat is a photo messaging app that allows users to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to recipients. The company was founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, when they were students at Stanford University. It is headquartered at a beachfront property in Venice, Calif.
Vurb was founded in 2011 by Bobby Lo and is financially backed by Redpoint Ventures, Tencent, Vivi Nevo, Max Levchin, Drew Houston, and other Silicon Valley luminaries, having previously raised $10 million in venture and angel funding. The startup launched it’s iPhone app in early 2015. In quick succession, Vurb developed an Apple Watch companion app, then in August 2015, launched an app for Android and added Vurb chat.
Vurb “enables people to find, plan, and share by connecting them to the most relevant information and tools from apps and services in a single experience,” according to the company. The app removes the need to switch through multiple other applications on the device to perform a task.
Vurb helps users easily find, save, and “do the best things by connecting community recommendations, rich content, and useful services — personalized for you in one simple app,” it says. “Whether you are looking for inspiration in travel, entertainment, or just want to find dinner, Vurb brings you results you need to have the best experiences, share your plans with friends, or save your own ideas for later.”