AddLive, a small WebRTC voice and video chat company early this week announced its secret acquisition by popular private photo messaging app, SnapChat. Its blog post notes that while there are “no immediate plans to add new customers to the platform, we intend to continue providing our ongoing video chat services.” This includes telehealth video doctor visit app Doctor on Demand and social health management platform WellTok as well as big boy Citrix (one of the losers in the bidding war for AddLive along with LogMeIn and Cisco.) While the amount for the acquisition remains undisclosed, blogger Chris Kranky notes that an 8 digit figure wouldn’t be out of the ballpark.
While Snapchat holds a fairly small share of the instant messaging market among popular applications such as WhatsApp, BBM Chat and Facebook Messenger, it has managed to raise over $120 million in funding. It also had the balls to turn down a $3B acquisition offer from Facebook last October. The Verge reports that the AddLive acquisition occurred several months ago, which makes sense considering Snapchat’s newly released “serendipitous” video chat which its CEO Evan Spiegel said is designed to capture the “essence of conversation.” The app is available in both Google’s PlayStore and Apple’s AppStore.
AddLive also gets kudos from WebRTC blogger Tsahi Levent-Levi for being an excellent product and proving that WebRTC is a working reality on the market today. (AddLive has won the WebRTC Conference & Expo 2013 “Best WebRTC Tool” Award and also offers screen-sharing, multi-party conferencing, and support for browser-based video chat via WebRTC.) However, his concern is that current clients will eventually lose AddLive as their WebRTC API provider once its contracts are up. Furthermore, this will cause companies looking to use WebRTC API in their products will be cautious of contracting with small WebRTC vendors such as Weemo, Layer, vLine, TenHands, and the likes. Of course, there is always OpenTok and Twilio.