Snap Picks Up Pixel8earth to Grow Its Map Feature

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Snap screen

Snap Inc. has acquired Pixel8earth as it pushes to grow and monetize the Map feature on its flagship app, Snapchat.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Pixel8earth uses crowdsourced data to develop 3D maps.

The acquisition was initially disclosed with few details in Snap's first-quarter filing to the SEC, below the more detailed disclosure of its $124.4 million acquisition of Fit Analytics. Snap said it paid $7.6 million for an unnamed company.

On Monday Snap confirmed that the unnamed company was Pixel8earth.

Snap executives have called the Snap Map a "multibillion-dollar opportunity," frequently noting that over 250 million users engage with the feature every month. The company has continuously pointed to ongoing efforts to add "utility" to the feature, particularly regarding the value it can bring to small businesses searching for local customers.

In its SEC filing, Snap said the acquisition was meant "to enhance our existing platform, technology, and workforce." Based on Pixel8earth's former co-founders' LinkedIn profiles, it appears they have been fully absorbed by Snap. Former CEO Sean Gorman lists his current role as a Boulder, CO-based "Software Engineering Manager" at Snap, while his former co-founder and CTO Pramukta Kumar lists his role as an Austin-based "Computer Vision Engineer" at Snap.

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Netflix Updated Its Culture Memo for the First Time in 5 Years to Address Censorship, Secrecy

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Netflix Updated Its Culture Memo for the First Time in 5 Years to Address Censorship, Secrecy
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

Netflix promised change after its poor first-quarter earnings. One of the first targets: the Netflix Culture document.

The changes, which Variety reported on Thursday, indicate a new focus on fiscal responsibility and concern about censorship. While promises to support honest feedback and open decision-making remain, the memo’s first update in almost five years reveals that the days of lax spending are over. The newly added “artistic expression” section emphasizes Netflix’s refusal to censor its work and implores employees to support the platform’s content.

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‘Raises’: Mahmee Secures $9.2M, Wave Financial Launches $60M Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Image by Joshua Letona
In this week’s edition of “Raises”: It was another slow week on the deal front, but one maternal health startup, with a mission to fight maternal mortality, landed a deal with growth equity business Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles-based investment firm is launching its 8th digital asset fund of $60 million.
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