Israel’s Zoog partners with Snap to expand its AR services
Zoog has developed a children’s videobook creation platform to help bridge generation gaps for families
Zoog, a creative communication app built to offer distant family members a creative way to connect to one another, has announced a partnership with Snap, the camera company behind products and services such as Snapchat, Spectacles, and Bitmoji. Using Zoog’s mobile app, users can bring books to life and ‘become part of the story’ by adopting AR masks, filters, and other visual effects.
Many consider Snap primarily a social media platform, but recent efforts by the company have led it to launch a closed Beta that offers some companies access to their Camera Kit, a complete end-to-end AR creation solution that includes their platform and Lens Analytics management tool. Zoog’s access to Snap’s Camera Kit means the company will join Viber, Triller, and Bumble, among others.
“The process of integrating Camera Kit into Zoog was more complicated than we anticipated,” said Matan Guttman, co-founder and CPTO at Zoog. “There are many creative complexities to our stories, some of which even surprised Snap’s engineers. We are finally ready to launch Zoog 2.0 with some amazing upgrades. I am confident that our audience as well as current and future Zoog creators will enjoy this important upgrade.”
Zoog has developed a storytelling format that is intended to help kids communicate with older members of their families, such as grandparents, from overseas. Its platform helps bring children’s storybooks to life by incorporating AR masks, machine learning, and animation-creation technologies for users who can insert themselves into the story directly.
“One of the first things that we set out to accomplish was to enable even less tech-savvy grandparents to produce cool AR content,” said Yoav Oren, co-founder and CEO of Zoog. “We’ve reduced friction to allow them to create fun, engaging, and educational content within two clicks as they enter the app. But not only are grandparents creating AR content on Zoog, which they are enjoying, their grandkids think this content is cool and are engaged with it. By allowing our audience to experience and share even more advanced AR quality without complicating the process, it will enable them to create even better content, therefore sharing even more frequent interactions with their loved ones.”
He added: “We view this as a major vote of confidence, and a testament to the fact that we are doing something that resonates with even the leaders in the social communications industry. We are excited for this launch and look forward to offering our audience an even better experience with our app.”
Today, there are already 300,000 AR artists using Snap’s Lens Studio as their main tool to produce AR masks and filters primarily for brands. The news comes after Zoog received an investment from Comcast NBCUniversal and was accepted to their LIFT Labs accelerator program with Techstars. According to the company, it also has content agreements with NBCUniversal, DreamWorks, and a brand partnership with Kellogg’s. Its Pre-Seed round included funds from Reimagine Ventures, Joy Ventures, and The Zell Early-Stage Fund.
Snap, formally Snapchat, was founded in 2011 and made $2.5 billion in revenue in 2021.