Posted on July 12, 2018 by staff

AR ‘treasure hunt’ app saved from administration


An augmented reality ‘treasure hunt’ app backed by founder Brent Hoberman, Silicon Valley Bank and Unilever Ventures has been rescued out of administration.

Snatch is an evolution of brand marketing wrapped up in an AR treasure hunt and has been dubbed the ‘Pokémon Go for brands’.

The smartphone app uses a player’s location paired with augmented reality to transform their immediate surroundings into an interactive playground.

In the game, players travel around through a real map to find parcels. If they can hold onto a parcel for long enough without it being stolen, it can be opened to claim real prizes from one of the app’s partners.

Colin Wilson and Joanne Rolls, partners at Opus Restructuring in London, were appointed as joint administrators of Snatch Media Limited on 3 July.

Wilson told BusinessCloud that the company had been dealing with “cash flow problems” leading up to their appointment.

The business and its assets have now been sold in a pre-pack deal to an unnamed buyer.

The terms of the transaction were undisclosed but administrators said the sale had secured jobs at the company.

The appointment came less than a year after Snatch announced that it had closed a £4.4 million seed funding round led by Initial Capital, with participation from Hoberman’s First Minute Capital, CrunchFund, Simon Equity Partners Cassius Family Fund, Hanson Asset Management, Velocity Technology Fund and Silicon Valley Bank.

At the time, the start-up said its platform had attracted 500,000 users and over 120 well-known brands including Heineken, Deliveroo, Missguided, Boohoo, Gousto, Virgin Wines and Samsung.

Co-founder and CEO Joe Martin said the investment would allow Snatch to push ahead with plans to create a “truly game-changing” product in the UK and expand worldwide.

“We want to challenge how brands reach and engage consumers, and in doing so we’re shaking up both gaming and marketing, through the use of augmented reality, to deliver more to both,” he said at the time.

Earlier in 2017, Snatch had also sold a stake in the business to Unilever Ventures in return for a six-figure investment.

The app was founded by chief executive Joe Martin, chief operating officer Jamal Hirani and chief marketing officer Phil Lloyd. BusinessCloud has contacted the co-founders for comment.

The administrators did not provide any details about the buyer.