AOL Acquires Photo And Messaging Startup Kanvas Labs

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AOL is announcing another acquisition — Kanvas Labs, maker of mobile social apps.

An AOL spokesperson told me that the company will continue to offer the existing Kanvas Labs products. Those include photo editing app Kanvas; Kanvas Keyboard, which allows users to add GIFs and stickers to their mobile conversations; and Kanvas for Messenger, which integrates the startup’s products into Facebook Messenger.

There are plans to integrate Kanvas technology with AOL’s products, too.

The startup said in February that the photo app had been installed 1 million times. That’s not an enormous audience, at least by some standards, but it could give AOL a foothold with younger users — you know, the ones who don’t get all those jokes about AOL dial-up.

The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. AOL said the entire Kanvas Labs team will be joining the company and working out of its New York City headquarters. (AOL owns TechCrunch. Also, I work out of that office.)

“The combination of AOL and Kanvas Labs adds to our vision of reaching consumers on a global scale,” said Kanvas Labs CEO Vic Singh in an emailed statement.

The startup actually began as a photo-sharing app called Tracks before launching the Kanvas app in 2013 and rebranding the company six months later. Across its various incarnations, Kanvas Labs has raised more than $3 million in funding from investors including KEC Ventures, Scout Ventures, Dace Ventures, ARC Fund, Sierra Maya Ventures, Social Starts and Eniac Ventures, according to CrunchBase.

Of course AOL itself was acquired by Verizon a few months ago. A big reason for the deal was AOL’s ad technology, which has been growing through acquisitions.