Google Capital rebrands to CapitalG, reveals that it invested in Snap Inc.

6th Nov 2016
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Snap Inc, the camera company behind popular app Snapchat and yet to be unveiled product- Spectacles has raised over $2.5 billion in funding so far from marquee investors like Alibaba, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and others. But in a surprise move which was revealed earlier today, Google Capital, Alphabet Inc's investment arm which rebranded to CapitalG recently., added Snap Inc's logo to its investment portfolio.

capitalg-yourstory

Image credit- CapitalG portfolio

This development was first reported by Business Insider which also confirmed that Snap Inc. is a portfolio company of CapitalG. At this stage, it is unclear though if CapitalG was an early investor or participated in Snap Inc's latest series F funding round of $1.8Billion which was reported in May 2016.

Snap Inc(then Snapchat) was founded by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy at Stanford University in 2011. Regarding their inspiration, Evan wrote in a company blog post,

We wanted a place to share awkward selfies and funny photos with our friends.

The founders heard hilarious stories about emergency detagging of Facebook photos before job interviews and photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots.They realised the need of a better solution and started working on a prototype. Snapchat’s first version of the app on iOS in September 2011.

By October 2012 Snapchat had reported that it had reached the landmark of 1 billion snaps. In 2013, Snapchat forayed into video content and at this stage saw interest from Facebook, which reportedly tried to acquire the company for $3 billion in cash. Google Capital(now CapitalG) then stepped in to try to acquire Snapchat for $4 billion, which also did not workout.

Snapchat kept up the tempo in 2014 introducing new features such as 'My Story' and 'Geo filters' More recently in March 2016, the company launched 'Chat 2.0'. It explained in a blog post,

Over past two years, we’ve learned a ton about how people talk, but our goal remains unchanged. We want Chat to be the best way to communicate — second only to hanging out face-to-face. We’re excited to introduce Chat 2.0. You can start by sending a few chats, and when your friend shows up, start talking or video chatting instantly with one tap.

In August 2016, Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2012, unveiled 'Instagram Stories', which Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, admitted was inspired by Snapchat's feature of a similar name- Snapchat stories.

Google+ had failed to take off as expected and Google had lost out to Facebook in the social networking space. But now with its investment arm CapitalG having successfully invested in Snap Inc., which is expected to file for an IPO as early as March 2017 at an expected valuation of $25 billion, Google now has some skin in the game.

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