After 6 years, 86 Million Dollars in funding, a peak of 23 Million users and 4 different failed products, today marked another chapter for Mobli, with the sale of one of its patents to Snap Inc.
Mobli, which back in the day was considered one of Instagram’s leading competitors shut down mid-last year after its last product (Galaxia) failed.
According to multiple sources, Serial entrepreneur and investor Moshe Hogeg, who co-founded Mobli, signed the deal earlier this month, transferring Mobli’s Geofilters patent over to Snapchat for a sum of 7.7 Million dollars.
The patent (US#20160373805, US#9459778) was filed back in 2012 and was named Methods and Systems of providing visual content editing functions. To be more specific, the patent focused on what is known today as “Geofilters”, special photo filters that are available by mobile geo-location.
Why are Geofilters so important for Snapchat?
Besides being one of the popular features within the app, according to Snap Inc. recent S-1 Filing, Sponsored Geofilters are an integral part of the company’s revenues. As an example, Snap recognizes sponsored campaigns by Starbucks and Wendi’s, that made use of the Sponsored Geofilters and have created value for the advertiser.
“Starbucks also created an in-store experience throughout the campaign, using regularly-updated Sponsored Chain Geofilters available at their locations across the U.S. to promote the blended version of the drink. The summertime Sponsored Geofilters were a testament to the power of Creative Tools that let users share what they’re up to with their friends and family, with over 40 million people viewing Snaps that featured one of the Sponsored Geofilters.”
“Wendy’s blanketed its U.S. stores with Sponsored Geofilters that promoted the Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich.”
Since Mobli’s original patent for Geofilters was approved back in 2014, which is way before Snapchat planned the Geofilters feature, the company was actually infringing Mobli’s patent and we can only assume that the IP acquisition was done in order to avoid a potential infringement law-suit in the future.
Moshe Hogeg has declined to comment and we’re still waiting to hear from Snapchat. We’ll update this post as soon as we hear back.