Slyce acquires SnipSnap as image recognition advances in mobile shopping
In a reflection of the growing role that image recognition technology is playing in mobile shopping, visual product search company Slyce Inc. has acquired mobile couponing firm SnipSnap for $6.5 million.
The acquisition will enable users who are already taking photos of coupons with the SnipSnap application to extend that activity while also supporting Slyce’s goal to position itself as a complete consumer engagement platform for major retailers, both in and out of the store. Following the acquisition, which is expected to close on or around Feb. 5, SnipSnap will remain based in Philadelphia with founder Ted Mann continuing to run the business.
“The Slyce technology works really well,” said Ted Mann, founder and president of SnipSnap, Philadelphia. “It works well with coupons so it will dramatically improve the experience on the SnipSnap app.
“The potential of what we can do with them and where this space is headed is really exiting,” he said.
“In the next couple of years, image recognition technology on the phone will become a new way that people use and utility out of their phones.”
Mobile shopping utility
SnipSnap boasts more than 4 million mobile users who have employed its iOS and Android apps to scan and interpret more than 100 million print coupons. Doing so transforms coupons into an easily searchable and redeemable digital format that can be shared with others.
Slyce’s platform is currently used to scan circulars and real-world items to immediately purchase merchandise from a phone.
For example, last summer, more than 2,200 movie theaters started using Slyce’s technology to enable moviegoers to snap pictures of interactive ads in lobbies and on the screen with their mobile phone and be redirected to shopping sites where they can shop the looks of the characters in their favorite films (see story).
SnipSnap has partnerships with approximately 50 retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Lord & Taylor and Aeropostale, SnipSnap is one of the largest mobile couponing apps, following RetailMeNot and Coupons.com.
According to the company, it saw an average of 20 percent month on month revenue growth for the last six months of 2014.
Perfecting the mobile coupon
SnipSnap also provides a white-label platform that helps retailers such as Toys R US create and target mobile coupons across email, the Web, apps and SMS.
Looking ahead, SnipSnap is looking to expand its offering to support loyalty coupons and social media campaigns.
The SnipSnap iPhone app
“We are not selling because we are out of money or anything like that,” Mr. Mann said. “We were looking for the best way to take the business to the next level.
“We had a lot of offers from coupon companies, but Slyce seemed like a much more exciting way to go because they had built such great technology,” he said.
“The mobile coupon space is still very fluid. People are still making that transition to using mobile coupons and figuring out what the best user experience is. Nobody has perfected it. Nobody can claim yet to own mobile coupons.”
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York