Snapchat maker Snap recently acquired Swiss software protection start-up Strong.Codes, sources with knowledge of the deal said last week. The value of the transaction remains unclear, though the acquisition was seemingly prompted by Snap's hiring of Strong.Codes co-founder and software engineer Laurent Balmelli. Balmelli reportedly joined the Venice, Los Angeles-based social media giant in early 2017 and the rest of his former team followed in his footsteps in the months after that move, recent reports indicate. Strong.Codes is now officially closed and its handful of former employees all remained in Switzerland, albeit working for Snap.
The now-defunct firm created a solution for hiding software code and thus making the process of copying a program or an app significantly more difficult. Snap's acquisition of the Swiss start-up comes shortly after the firm spent several months actively looked for cryptography and cyber security experts in the European country, with some industry watchers interpreting these recent activities as its attempt to establish a stronger foothold on the Old Continent. Arguably the largest obstacle Snap encountered in its path toward massive growth so far is Facebook and its insistence to continue copying a number of popular Snapchat features across a wide variety of its product portfolio; everything from the main Facebook mobile app and Messenger to Instagram and even WhatsApp features some Snapchat-inspired functionalities these days and Snap is now apparently looking to make the process of copying its popular social app more difficult. It's still unclear how much will its acquisition of Strong.Codes help the company in slowing down Facebook's attempts to emulate Snapchat seeing how it isn't confirmed that the Menlo Park, California-based tech giant is actually reverse-engineering Snapchat.
The latest turn of events comes shortly after Snap's stock hit a record low last week, being valued at $14.65 per share, as investors are seemingly unconvinced by the firm's efforts to rebrand itself into "a camera company" while simultaneously pursuing social media-related endeavors. Snap co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel previously downplayed his firm's underwhelming performance following its initial public offering (IPO) in early March, claiming that the social media platform will bounce back in the near future once it establishes its portfolio through a number of new media partnerships and other initiatives.