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02 August 2017

Snapchat wants to buy selfie drone company, report says

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Snapchat’s next product could be a foldable drone that takes aerial selfies.

A report from The Information claims that Snap, Inc. is in talks to acquire Zero Zero Robotics, the Chinese startup behind the foldable Hover Camera Passport drone that’s sold exclusively at Apple Stores.

According to the report, Snap is looking to buy the drone company out at a price of $150-$200 million. TechCrunch also says that sources have corroborated the report and valuation deal. 

Zero Zero Robotic’s CEO Meng Qiu Wang reportedly denied the buyout talks. The company declined to comment when Mashable reached out to them.

Whether the buyout happens or not, Snap’s interest in drones should come as no surprise, since its CEO Evan Spiegel repositioned it as a camera company last year. 

Buying Zero Zero Robotics wouldn’t be the company’s first investment in drones. In May, Snap reportedly purchased Ctrl Me Robotics, a company that outfits drones with cameras, for under a $1 million.

The Hover Camera folded open.

The Hover Camera folded open.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

A drone would certainly further the company’s mission to help people tell stories from literally new perspectives. Snap’s camera-equipped Spectacles, released last year and now available on Amazon, was the company’s first foray into connecting a camera accessory to its app, and it probably won’t be the last.

As selfie drones become ever more popular — DJI’s Spark and the Dobby are two of the best besides the Hover Camera — it makes total sense for Snapchat to get ahead of the pack. 

It’s not enough for a camera company to simply make great capturing devices. As GoPro has learned the hard way, the future is all about platforms that help you capture, edit, and share your footage online quickly and easily. 

Snap’s only got Spectacles under its belt, but if it’s smart, it’ll apply the same seamless integration it did with Specs with Stories to a future drone.

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