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This article was published on September 20, 2012

    SingTel snaps up ‘mobile photo inbox’ app Pixable for $26.5 million

    SingTel snaps up ‘mobile photo inbox’ app Pixable for $26.5 million
    Jon Russell
    Story by

    Jon Russell

    Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

    It’s been a week since SingTel reemphasised its commitment to further its mobile content push, and the Singapore-based telecom giant has continued its acquisition spree after laying down $26.5 million to acquire Pixable, a New York-based ‘mobile photo inbox’ app with more than 4 million users.

    The deal is another in a busy week or so that has seen a number of photo apps come to the mainstream. Google purchased Snapseed develop Nik Software on Monday and yesterday Evernote’s move to bring Skitch to the iPhone, but Pixable does offer something unique to those two and, indeed, market leader and Facebook-owned Instagram.

    The service is available for Android and iOS (and via the Web) and it hooks up to users’ social networks to pick out photographic highlights from friends and family, putting them in an easily viewable stream.

    The four-year-old startup explains more on its website:

    Pixable finds the best photos and videos shared on your social network so you never miss an important moment

    The company’s free application offers a unique, personalized browsing experience by aggregating photos from different social networks and then sorting them into fun feeds like “Best Photos of the Day” in order of their relevance to the user. Pixable also doubles as a notification service allowing users to follow friends’ photo activity and be notified of newly tagged or uploaded photos.

    Not only does the app browse, search, and track photos from friends, it uses algorithms to provide a tailored experience that learns users’ preferences and improves the more than they use.

    Allen Lew, CEO Group Digital Life at SingTel said the acquisition will address customer demand for systems that help “prioritise and organise the multiple contacts and content that happen daily in their lives.”

    Lew further explained SingTel’s motivation behind the deal:

    Pixable’s expertise and customer engagement give us a foundation to go beyond viewing photos to using photos as a way to stimulate simple immersive communication. We will be able to provide a distinctive value-added service to all mobile customers, allowing them to discover and store content, images and their communication history – essentially what matters most from those that are really important to them.

    Inaki Berenguer, Pixable co-founder and CEO, beleives that joining forces with SingTel will open the app up to the vast potential of emerging markets:

    The worlds of social and photo are converging and that’s why we developed our social photo discovery solution. The size and global reach of the SingTel Group will allow us to expand and bring our solution to more people especially in emerging markets.

    Pixable’s three founders — Berenguer, Andres Blank and Alberto Sheinfeld — met and founded the startup at MIT, and its advisors include Paul English, co-founder and CTO of Kayak, MIT Professor Ed Roberts and Twitter Engineering Manager Daniel Loreto.

    SingTel’s acquisitions this year have included advertising firm Amobee ($321 million), Yelp-like HungryGoWhere ($9.4 million) and a contribution to content firm General Mobile’s recent $5 million round.

    There are no details on whether and how SingTel — which has 462 million subscribers across Asia and Africa — will distribute Pixable, but we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.

    Image via Flickr / potzuyoko