Snapchat has acquired facial recognition startup Looksery.
The deal was first flagged by Ain.ua, a Ukrainian publication, which states Snapchat purchased the startup for ~ $150 million. Business Insider has independently confirmed the acquisition.
Looksery is based in San Francisco and it doesn’t appear to have raised traditional outside capital. It was started by a Ukrainian team and its CEO is Victor Shaburov. The two year old startup uses facial recognition technology to essentially photoshop video chats and messages in real time. Looksery launched with a Kickstarter campaign in June 2014 and six face filters.
Users can add filters to their faces that make them look older, or like zombies. They can also make themselves look more attractive, with slimmer cheeks, smoother skim, bluer eyes, etc. It reportedly has about 3 million downloads. Here’s more on how Looksery works.
Snapchat may be using the technology already in its new “Lenses” feature which launched Tuesday. Lenses lets people add filters to their selfies so they become animated before they send snaps.
Here’s how Snapchat Lenses (examples below) work.