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23-09-2015

The deal of the century: $150.000.000 and developers from Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University

The purchase of the Odessa based startup Looksery by Snapchat for $150 million became the deal of the month. Looksery’s selfy transformation technology developed graduate of Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University.

Users call it "unreal editor of selfies".

Yuri Monastyrshin, COO of the project, Odessa I.I. Mechnikov university graduate, the winner of world programming competitions, wants to improve the image of the smartphone ront camera in the real time.

Looksery App allows to edit images to look awesome at the photos, and even during a video chat. With the help of application, you can lose weight, get fat, even change the skin tone and eliminate its defects. You can change anything - from eye color to the shape of the skull, and even put on cartoon animations.

The secret of this success - work, talent and nonrandom meeting of IT-management pros Victor Shaburov (San Francisco) and 22-year-old Yuri Monastyrshin (Odessa). In the process of improving and collecting money for the completion of the project by crowdfunding, Looksery recieved $46.000 in six weeks. A few months after the launch of the application it’s iOS-version had 3 million downloads.

Startup from Odessa lit up in the world's media. Call centers, cosmetic companies, film studios got interested in Looksery technology. Team went on profitability, generating unprecedented for the Ukrainian startup turnover of $1.000.000 per month.

In mid-September Looksery App became the part of the messaging service Snapchat. Snapchat paid for it, according to the media, above $150.000.000. It is expected that the entire team from Odessa will move to the United States. Beside team CCO Yuri Monastyrshin there are other university graduates in Looksety App: lead designer of the project - Lydia Bogdanovic and a number of students, that were winners of international Olympiads on programming.

Reference:

Yuri Monastyrshin - winner of the sports programming competition; finalist of two world championships; in 2015 the university team with Yuriy Monastyrshin bypassed teams of Princeton, Stanford, MIPT. University teachers: Oleg Petrov, Igor Mazurok.

Victor Shaburov - formerly vice president of Opera Software, the company sponsoring the sports programming competition in the ONU, a well-known IT-entrepreneur. He created SPB Software that developed software for mobile devices. In 2011, Russia's Yandex bought his company for $ 38.400.000. Than he has invested about $1.000.000 in Looksery startup.

Snapchat - popular mobile app for exchanging messages that disappear after viewing. In 2015 Snapchat helped Looksery to make the biggest exit in the history of Ukrainian startups. Worldwide media called it the "deal of the century."

Alla Gudzenko,

Press Service of Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University

 

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