Evan Spiegel’s Snap Has Spent $352.4 Million on Acquisitions in 2017

The company ramped up its acquisition budget 5 times over from last year.

Staff Writer
  • Snap has spent at least $352.4 million in cash on acquisitions this year.
  • The six-year-old app maker has purchased roughly two dozen other companies since 2014 and shows no signs of slowing its spending.
  • Snap has historically used acquisitions to build new products like Spectacles or its search and maps functionality.

For a newly-public company facing intense pressure to grow its ad revenue, Snap has no problem spending lots of money on acquisitions.

The six-year-old company has spent a total of $352.4 million in cash on acquisitions from the beginning of 2017 to the end of September, according to a recent filing with the Securities Exchange Commission. For reference, that number is roughly 5 times greater than the cash Snap spent on buying companies within the same period of 2016.

The dramatic increase in spending highlights how important Snap sees acquisitions for its business, even at a time when Facebook appears to be successfully copying some of Snapchat’s core features that initially made the app unique.

Snap reported having $2.3 billion in cash and available securities at the end of last quarter, proving that it has plenty of money to buy up more companies in the future.

Always meeting with startups

Snap’s small corporate development team, led by company veteran Steve Hwang, is constantly taking meetings with startups of all sizes, according to several people who have interacted with the team. As is the case with most talks between companies, the meetings usually never progress past the exploratory stage and into final term discussions.

Snap met with autonomous drone-maker Skydio earlier this summer, for example, but ultimately decided to not buy or invest in the startup, according to people with knowledge of the talks. A potential acquisition of the Chinese selfie drone-maker Zero Zero Robotics was also abandoned later in the summer after the two sides couldn’t agree on a price, the people said.

A particular focus for Snap has been looking at ad-tech companies to help bolster its appeal to marketers, like its acquisition of third-party measurement firm Placed earlier this year.

Snap recently agreed to pay “substantially under” $100 million for the ad analytics and campaign monitoring firm Metamarkets, according to a person familiar with the deal. A Snap spokesperson declined to comment on any unannounced acquisitions. TechCrunch first reported that Snap and Metamarkets were in talks.

While Snap has yet to make a multi-billion-dollar deal like its larger competitors have, Spiegel’s company has proven to be aggressive at scooping up smaller outfits, like Bitmoji or social mapping app Zenly, and quickly integrating them into its app. And Snap is known to roll out the red carpet for companies it’s interested in — we’ve heard stories of Snap flying startup founders around on private jets and spending on lavish dinners.

PitchBook, a research platform that tracks company funding and acquisitions news, shared the below infographic with Business Insider that details all of Snap’s reported acquisitions to date. Some of the noted acquisitions include smaller buys that focused on hiring key personnel, like the May 2017 purchase of the small drone startup Ctrl Me Robotics.

Snap aqusition timeline   PitchbookSnap’s acquisition history to date, courtesy of PitchBook. (Click to enlarge.) PitchBook

This post originally appeared on Business Insider. 

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