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Why Did The Company Behind Snapchat Acquire A Drone Company?

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Why Did The Company Behind Snapchat Acquire A Drone Company?

Snapchat parent company Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) acquired drone company Ctrl Me Robotics last year in an under-the-radar, "under $1 million" deal, according to Buzzfeed.

News of the deal likely makes GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO) investors nervous in light of Snap’s decision to rebrand itself as a camera company. But while Snap could certainly eventually get into the drone-building business, the modest Ctrl Me acquisition may suggest a less ambitious goal in the near term. The 2015 Instagram post below from Ctrl Me Robotics shows a smartphone attached to a drone and includes the caption “Snapchat from your drone.”

It’s unclear whether or not Ctrl Me Robotics ever actually built drones; the company certainly seemed to specialize in mounting cameras and phones to drones.

If Snap is simply planning on marketing devices to mount phones to drones so that users can use their app from their drone, GoPro investors can breathe a sigh of relief. However, if the move is Snap’s first step toward developing and marketing its own drones with a social media focus, Snapchat’s massive 166-million-strong user base could be a huge threat to GoPro in the long term.

The Ctrl Me acquisition is not the first time Snap has expressed interest in the drone market. The company reportedly had talks with drone company Lily Robotics last year as well.

Snap’s venture into the camera market up to this point has been mixed at best. Snap’s camera-equipped glasses, called Spectacles, accounted for only $8 million of the company’s $150 in total revenue in Q1.

Related Links: 

Wall Street May Not Be As Bullish On Snapchat As It Seems

3 Ways Snapchat Is Responding To Slow User Growth

Posted-In: Ctrl Me Robotics drones GoPro SnapChatM&A News Tech Media Best of Benzinga

 

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