GoPro acquires two mobile editing companies in software push

GoPro Inc. agreed to acquire two mobile video editing companies for $105 million in cash and stock, taking steps to address a shortcoming in its software interface that has been criticized for not being very user-friendly in packaging and sharing footage from its cameras. The purchases include Paris-based Stupeflix, which makes the Replay app that automatically edits selected footage on a phone into a single video, and Austin, Texas-based Vemory, owners of the iPhone app Splice, which allows users to trim, crop and add advanced video effects. Both teams will maintain operations in their current locations. "We recognize that the future is not hunkering out at your desktop for four to five hours on a Sunday evening to edit whatever interesting content you captured over the weekend," Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Woodman said in an interview. "The future is weaving a content creation experience into people’s everyday life flow -- GoPro needs become much more contemporary." After debuting on the stock market in 2014 to much fanfare, GoPro has watched its fortunes fade as competition from phones and drones increases and the company’s latest model failed to inspire holiday sales. The stock has lost almost a third of its value this year after plummeting more than 70 percent last year. Earlier this month the company forecast future revenue that was worse than analysts predicted. Analysts, investors, and users alike have said the company’s biggest issue is making an intuitive software interface that’s as easy to use as it’s cube-shaped cameras. Woodman recognizes the company’s shortcomings in software, and said it’s rolling out GoPro for desktop in March, which is supposed to simplify the process of sorting through footage, editing, and sharing content directly to social media platforms. Acquiring Replay and Splice will only help solve part of GoPro’s problems. Woodman says that they’re still working on making it easier to get the content into the smartphone or in the cloud where the mobile applications are able to access them. The next generation of cameras will do a better job of this, he said. Woodman said the two mobile-editing apps were important acquisitions because of their technologies and the cultural fit of their teams. He said GoPro has its eye out for future acquisitions as well. "Anytime that we see an opportunity to accelerate execution against our vision, we look at those opportunities," Woodman said.

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