It’s been some time since we heard from Snow, the Snapchat clone app in Asia that Fb as soon as tried to purchase, however right now the corporate behind it has scooped up a $50 million funding from SoftBank and Sequoia China.
Snow was began by Naver, the Korean agency behind fashionable messaging app Line, and it had confirmed fashionable in Japan, Korea, China and different markets in Asia because of a deal with localized filters, stickers and options. To not point out Snapchat’s well-known lack of effort in Asian markets.
The Snow app has modified considerably since we final wrote about it, nonetheless. It’s now not a Snap clone.
A significant up to date that dropped final week eliminated Snow’s user-to-user communication options and turned it right into a devoted selfie digital camera app. With out chat, the app doubles down on filters, stickers, augmented actuality (AR), and different selfie-related options to make images and different media that may be exported to social networks or discussion groups.
Snow customers can now, for instance, report a video set to music from artists that embody Charlie Puth. There’s the same old array of picture filters, alongside a GIF maker and Instagram-like Boomerang function.
Snow plans to make use of this new funding to develop its augmented actuality and facial recognition applied sciences. Its App Retailer itemizing exhibits it’s working with Chinese language unicorn SenseTime on facial recognition.
Additionally it is aiming to construct partnerships and localize its service in China. Outdoors of Snow, Snow Corp additionally owns digital camera apps Foodie and B612, which it acquired from Line, so they might even be pushed in China as standalone apps, though the tech behind them can also be shared with the core Snow app.
A Snow consultant advised TechCrunch that the app now has over 200 million downloads on iOS and Android. The corporate doesn’t escape particular knowledge for every market, but it surely stated that China is its largest market. In January 2017, we reported that Snow had 40-50 million month-to-month lively customers however there’s no additional replace on the MAU entrance for now.
SoftBank — and that is SoftBank Group not the Imaginative and prescient Fund — and Sequoia have purchased up 20 p.c of the shares of Snow’s China enterprise unit by way of this deal. Line is amongst Snow’s different backers, by way of two investments.