“This is one of those ideas that just makes so much sense that I can’t see how they’re not going to do well.”
Pretty strong words, huh? That’s what I said right before Hovr.it was released almost a year ago. For those of you who can’t remember that far back (or are just joining us), Hovr.it is a tool that lets you (you got it) hover over any image and turn it into a product search. Basically, if you spot something you like in a friend’s picture on Facebook or on Pinterest or even in a blog article, you can simply click on it and Hovr.it will immediately pull up sites for price comparison and purchase.
It’s a simple, totally genius way to transform literally any website into a retail outlet and it turns out I wasn’t the only one to think their idea was gold: They just announced that they’ve been acquired by the advanced visual search platform Slyce.
Hovr.it and Slyce, it turns out, are a perfect fit.
While Hovr.it was perfecting their product in the Toronto-based incubator [IN]cubes, Slyce was pushing forward with their own search platform that allows people to take a photo with their phone and then locate an object for purchase online.
With the addition of the Hovr.it technology (and the entire Hovr.it team, which will be folded into Slyce’s team), Slyce is solidifying their grip on the visual search market, an area that is only expected to expand as the expectation of instant gratification for consumers rises and rises. With no current leader in the visual search platform, a company like Slyce that’s already ahead of the game has a good chance of taking it all.
In fact, they just raised some notable cash.
Less than a month ago, Slyce announced that they had raised $2.2 million following hot on the heels of a $3.75 million seed round earlier this year. They also added key mobile commerce tech specialist Mark Elfenbein to their team as Chief Digital Officer, who commented at the time of their announcement that, “In my experience, the Holy Grail for brands is to interact with shoppers at their exact moment of inspiration.”
With the acquisition of Hovr.it, Slyce has just made acquiring that Holy Grail notably more possible by expanding their reach beyond what they previously had access to. It was a smart move and I, for one, am excited to see where they go next.
A little help on the path to acquisition.
The Hovr.it team was part of the second class of [IN]cubes, an accelerator based in Toronto, Canada. If you’re interested in finding out more about [IN]cubes and their high pressure, result-getting process, check out my interview with founder Ben Zlotnick. He provides some great insights into how they work, what they’re looking for, and why you might want to consider Toronto when you’re getting your company off the ground.
Killer Startup Hovr.it – a graduate of the Toronto-based accelerator [IN]cubes – was recently acquired by visual search platform Slyce. Congratulations, guys!
Slyce | Courtesy of Ben Zlotnick