Socialcam is the first of the social media video applications to head the way of Instagram -- early M&A -- but at a far lower valuation. Autodesk announced Tuesday that it agreed to pick-up the company, app and team over at Socialcam for $60 million. Socialcam is one of a handful of video applications like Viddy, Mobi and Klip that have been garnering attention for following the Instagram model of mobile app-focus and lean team growth.
The Socialcam app launched less than two years ago as an off-shoot of Justin.tv and eventually spun off into its own company with a small team of employees. The service allows users to share short videos, add filters, introduce themes as well as soundtracks to content for viral sharing.
This year, Socialcam collected a seed round from serial entrepreneurs Tim Draper, Yuri Milner, Ari Emmanuel, Laurene Powell Jobs, Ashton Kutcher, Brian Chesky, Paul Buchheit, Alexis Ohanian, and a few others.
"Socialcam shares Autodesk's mission of helping everybody imagine, design and create a better world," said Michael Seibel, Founder and CEO, Socialcam, in a statement. "Autodesk has a proven track record of acquiring and scaling fast-growing, early stage consumer businesses while staying true to their core audience and vision. With products like Pixlr, SketchBook and 123D, Autodesk is empowering creativity in millions around the world by making their award-winning technology accessible to everybody."
Socialcam is currently the most popular application on Facebook, with roughly 54.7 million monthly active users, but traffic has been trending down for the last month with DAUs, WAUs and MAUs.
Last month, Socialcam stated that it was seeing at least 8 million daily active users. For comparision, Instagram averages 7 million to 8 million daily average users, according to AppData (which just looks at users that connect via Facebook). This is a large gap but one that seems to show a great value for the video sharing service, especially just 18 months into its growth.
Socialcam will continue to operate independently, it will have its own office, and it’ll hire a few more people.
Autodesk, best known for its design, engineering, and 3-D rendering software, plans to help the Socialcam team scale up their platform and integrate some video tools into its apps.
And since Autodesk has clients in the entertainment business, it seems like a clear connection to offer this tool to better engage viewers and customers to their content.
Last summer, Autodesk acquired photo editing and sharing service Pixlr, as well as purchase the DIY community Instructables, so getting a social video service to integrate all of the portfolio isn't so far fetched.
"Mobile computing, the cloud and social media are improving and changing the way people design, engineer and create projects," said Samir Hanna, vice president, Autodesk Consumer Group, in a statement. "Video is an ideal medium for professionals and consumers alike to communicate and share their design ideas."
This acquisition is likely to make Viddy the largest independent mobile video sharing on the market -- though the $30 million it raised from NEA, Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures, and Battery Ventures surely doesn't make it all that small.
Bigger enterprise companies, with substantial cash reserves on the ready to snap up startups with viral, social and mobile strengths, this could be quite a big year in M&A.