Snap quietly acquired 3D scanning startup 3 last year

Snap quietly acquired Amsterdam-based 3D scanning studio Th3rd in the second quarter of last year, as the company looked to bolster its AR-powered business interests. A spokesperson for the company confirmed to TechCrunch that four members of Th3rd’s team in the Netherlands have joined Snap as part of the acquisition. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

In the year Founded in 2014, Th3rd created unique digital twins of people and products to give brands and retailers a way to digitize their product catalog at scale. After the company was selected for the Adidas Accelerator in Europe, it worked with the retailer to digitize more than 2,500 shoes.

Snap declined to share how it incorporated Th3rd’s capabilities into the company, but we understand that the startup’s technology has been used to improve Snap’s AR projects, including its newly launched offering for brands. Yesterday, Snap announced that it will begin offering its AR devices to enterprise customers. The new SaaS product offers a number of features to help brands leverage AR technology, such as AR testing and fit and size recommendation technology. Brands can integrate these AR features directly into their apps or websites, Snap said.

The company has been investing in AR-enabled businesses in recent years and is building its platform to leverage the technology. In the year In April 2022, the company introduced tools that turn photos of retailers into 3D assets and launched an in-app destination for AR fashion and a virtual experiment called “Dress App”.

Then a few months ago, Snap rolled out several updates to better appeal to retailers and brands, including the ability to update product information and pricing in real-time, better analytics, and the ability to easily create AR Shopping Lenses and more. At the same time, Snap updated its lens web builder, which allows brands to create shoppable lenses in minutes.

Additionally, Snap recently announced a partnership with Amazon for its virtual try-on shopping experience, gaining a prominent partner for its AR-powered business ambitions. Other brands that have used Snapchat AR shopping lenses include MAC Cosmetics, Ulta Beauty, American Eagle, Puma, Chanel, Walmart and LVMH.

Th3rd is one of several AR companies acquired by Snap over the past few years.

In May 2021, Snap acquired AR startup WaveOptics, which provided the technology that powers Snap’s Spectacles AR glasses, for $500 million. In March 2021, Snap acquired Fitness Analytics to further its move into AR-enabled e-commerce. In the year In July 2021, it acquired 3D and AR commercial company Vertebran. And last year, Snap announced the acquisition of AR company Forma.

Given its recent investments, it’s clear that the company sees potential in AR-powered business. According to a joint study from Publicis Media and Snap, the AR retail market is projected to be worth $1.2 trillion by 2030.

Snap says 250 million Snapchat users have engaged with AR shopping lenses more than 5 billion times as of January 2021. For context, Snapchat has 375 million daily active users. The company said in a recent email that it conducted a survey with consulting firm Ipsos and found that 92 percent of Gen Z consumers are interested in using AR for marketing.

Snap isn’t the only company investing in AR-powered commerce, with Pinterest and Google leveraging AR to let consumers try on makeup, clothing and accessories. Amazon has launched a shoe trial experience in the Amazon iOS app for consumers in the US and Canada in June 2022.

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