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Deal of the Year: Snapchat buys Ukrainian startup Looksery for USD 150 mln

Deal of the Year: Snapchat buys Ukrainian startup Looksery for USD 150 mlnLooksery uses facial recognition technology to photoshop a face during video chats.

Snapchat has acquired Odesa-based real time face-changing startup Looksery in a USD 150 mln deal. It is the largest tech acquisition in Ukraine's history so far.

The deal was first reported by Ukrainian web site ain.ua and later was picked up by international media such as TechCrunch, Business Insider, Computer Business Review, etc.

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat declined to comment on the acquisition price or whether ain.ua's number was accurate.

Looksery was started in 2013 by Odesa entrepreneur Victor Shaburov and his Ukrainian team, when the company went on to raise money for its face modification app on Kickstarter. After successful crowdfunding, Looksery launched in October 2014 and since then has reached around 10 million downloads on all mobile platforms.

By using the facial recognition technology the application makes it possible to transform users' faces in real-time via the front facing camera on a mobile.

But now the Looksery app has disappeared from Apple's and Google's mobile app stores. The Snapchat app, though, has introduced a new feature, called Lenses. With help of a special filter that modifies your face, one could look like a monster or, quite the opposite – become thinner, with the eyes bigger and skin smoother.

Deal of the Year: Snapchat buys Ukrainian startup Looksery for USD 150 mln


The way Snapchat's Lenses feature works is almost identical to how Looksery app used to change one's appearance.

Deal of the Year: Snapchat buys Ukrainian startup Looksery for USD 150 mln


Last time the successful acquisition of a Ukrainian project was made in 2012, when Google Inc. bought Ukrainian facial recognition software Viewdle for about USD 45 million.

Source: Ukraine Today
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