Deal: Snap Makes A Big AR Purchase

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Snap Inc, the owner of the popular Snapchat app, has made a major costly purchase in the world of augmented reality. It’s bought WaveOptics, a UK-based startup that makes hardware parts for augmented reality glasses. 

  • Per CNBC, Snap paid $500mn in cash and stock for WaveOptics, $250mn upfront and another $250mn in earnouts spread over two years.
  • Snap’s purchase of WaveOptics came just as the company unveiled its first Spectacles smart glasses with AR capability. Unsurprisingly, the new Spectacles glasses use lenses made by WaveOptics.
  • With its acquisition, it seems that Snap saw it fit to pay a big amount of money to bolster its in-house manufacturing operations. It’s not unusual given Snap’s normally secretive culture that will make it want to have more control of its hardware ops.
  • Snap is betting majorly on AR to differentiate itself from numerous social media competitors. At a recent event, the company unveiled its first AR-equipped Spectacles glasses along with a suite of AR software features for the Snapchat app.
  • To highlight Snap’s dedication to AR, a $500mn WaveOptics purchase marks the company’s biggest acquisition yet.  It’s a major one for a startup from the UK
  • WaveOptics, founded in 2014, raised $54mn in venture funding. With that, a $500mn exit is definitely a win that’ll be celebrated by the company’s stakeholders.

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