The company behind Snapchat, Snap Inc. has acquired a Swiss startup Strong.Codes. The startup makes tools which hide software code, making a program’s features harder to copy.
It started early this year when Snap hired one of the co-founders of Strong.Codes: Laurent Balmelli. The other four have now also joined Snap according to information on their LinkedIn profile pages. A person familiar with the move reports that the newly hired engineers will work from Switzerland.
Expanding in Europe
Snap is trying to improve its presence in Europe and has placed advertisements, seeking information security experts and cryptographers in Switzerland. The company was one of the lead sponsors at Black Alps 17, a cybersecurity conference Yverdon-les-Bains, northeast of Geneva.
Fast forward to May, and Facebook’s Marianne Bullwinkel was also plucked by Snap and hired as the country manager for the company for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Facebook has been accused of copying Snapchat’s most popular features. Instagram (owned by Facebook) introduced its new “stories” feature which is pretty much the same as its Snapchat counterpart.
Snap co-founder Evan Spiegel, during his first earnings conference call in May said,
If you want to be a creative company, you have got to be comfortable with and enjoy the fact that people copy your products if you make great stuff. Just because Yahoo! has a search box doesn’t mean they’re Google.
Whether it stops companies like Facebook from copying Snapchat’s features is still up for debate. After all, its the idea that matters, Facebook can easily afford to create the code from scratch.