Flipboard buys photo and video creation app Ultravisual

The Ultravisual team will come to work at Flipboard, and the service will likely be shut down soon

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 8, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3908

(Updated with comment from Flipboard)

It looks like mobile media magazine app Flipboard is about to go deeper into content creation, allowing its users to become more social, and more creative, in terms of what they share, and who they share it with. 

The company has now purchased photo and video creation startup Ultravisual, it was announced on Monday. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but this seems like it was an acqui-hire, as it was revealed that the Ultravisual team is already working out of Flipboard's New York City-based office.

The Ultravisual service will "continue to be available for the next six months, owned and operated by Technicolor, the company that’s backed their efforts," Flipboard said. After that, it seems likely that it will be shut down completely.

"Ultravisual fans are amazingly creative and passionate about their collections on the service and everyone involved wants to be sure to give users plenty of notice before anything change," Marci McCue, Head of Content and Communications at Flipboard, told me. "The Ultravisual service will continue to be available; operated by Technicolor and supported by the Ultravisual team, but it is expected to wind down in about six months." 

Ultravisual calls itself, "a visual network for inspiration, expression, and collaboration." The app acts like a social network for content creation, allowing its users to share their images, videos and comments. The content can  be organized and shared based on the user's interests and passions. 

It is unclear at this time what exactly the Ultravisual team will be working on now that they are employees of Flipboard, but the company does make it clear that they were impressed by the company's visual approach toward sharing content. Flipboard also sees Ultravisual's capabilities as a nice fit with its current focus on curating content. 

"The Ultravisual team will bring its expertise in curation and self-expression to the Flipboard magazine experience, where anyone can build their own magazine on Flipboard to share their ideas, perspectives and passions," said McCue.

"Last year Flipboard launched 2.0 with the ability to curate content into magazines and since then more than 10 million have been created on everything from Space Exploration to Syria. The Ultravisual team will play an important role in expanding how people collect and curate on Flipboard."

"We are inspired by Ultravisual's approach to information design, their pixel-perfect engineering and visually stunning interfaces," Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard, told me. "Additionally, their deep understanding of how people collaborate around collections of content is particularly exciting since it is so relevant to the future of magazine making on Flipboard."

The Palo Alto-based Flipboard aggregates news from media feeds and social media websites, including both Twitter and Facebook. It takes all of those streams of data, and presents it in a magazine format that users can flip through.

Flipboard currently offers 19 localized editions of its app, for Arabic, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, U.S. and U.K.

The company has raised $161 million to date, including a $50 million add on to its Series C round last December, closing the round at $100 million. Investors include Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Jack Dorsey, Ashton Kutcher, and more. It is currently valued at $800 million. 

Ultravisual is Flipboard's second acquisition of 2014; in March it purchased Zite, a personalized news platform built exclusively for the iPad, for $60 million from CNN.

(Image source: plus.google.com)

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