Snapchat May Buy Personalized Search App Vurb for More Than $100 Million

Snapchat Inc. is in the process of acquiring personalized search app Vurb, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Venice entertainment app maker would spend more than $100 million in cash and stock to purchase the San Francisco start-up, said a source unauthorized to speak publicly about the deal. The transaction hasn't been finalized, multiple sources said.

Vurb co-founder and Chief Executive Bobby Lo would receive $75 million over several years -- separate from the initial purchase price -- if he stays at Snapchat. The tech news website the Information first reported details of the deal Monday.

Snapchat declined to comment, and Vurb marketing chief Raime Heyneker didn't respond to a request for comment.

Founded in 2011, Vurb has sought to take data from several different smartphone apps and give users a single hub to plan where to dine and party and how to entertain themselves.

For example, Vurb can help people save time when choosing a movie to watch because it places reviewer scores from aggregator services IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes side by side. Or it can save users a few taps by making it simple to book an Uber from the same page as restaurant reviews.

But what Vurb has ended up with is a more decorated version of Google Now, the virtual personal assistant service that helps people find events and locations to visit. Vurb hasn't amassed a large base of users like Google. The start-up has tried to keep pace with changing technology, including by releasing an Apple Watch app.

Earlier this month, Vurb said its number of users this year had doubled but didn't disclose exact numbers.

A long list of wealthy individuals in technology were drawn to Lo, a former management consultant at Boston Consulting Group who had helped start a couple of other companies as well. Vurb announced $2 million...

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