Autodesk to Buy Socialcam to Boost Consumer Business

Autodesk Inc., a maker of architectural, engineering and entertainment software, will buy the social-video service Socialcam Inc. for about $60 million to expand in consumer markets.

Socialcam offers a smartphone application and Web-based service that lets users capture, edit and share videos. The application, available at Apple Inc.’s App Store and Google Inc.’s Play Store, has been downloaded more than 16 million times since it was introduced in 2011, Autodesk said today in a statement.

“Mobile computing, the cloud and social media are improving and changing the way people design, engineer and create projects,” Samir Hanna, vice president of Autodesk’s consumer group, said in the statement. “Video is an ideal medium for professionals and consumers alike to communicate and share their design ideas.”

Autodesk, based in San Rafael, California, is shifting away from traditional desktop-based computing and toward applications that can be delivered over the Web. As the largest seller of engineering software, its products have been used in everything from bridge design to the special effects in the movie “Avatar.”

The company competes with Bentley Systems Inc. and Dassault Systemes SA in the engineering software market. It introduced new design tools and a revamped cloud-computing platform called Autodesk 360 almost four months ago.

Smartphone Software

Autodesk also builds software for smartphones and the iPad, such as its SketchBook app, which can create drawings and paintings on touch screens. The company’s customer base includes about 12 million professionals and 80 million consumers, Hanna said.

The company said in the statement that it will invest in scaling up the Socialcam platform and developing “a more comprehensive set of tools” for Socialcam users. It also plans to use San Francisco-based Socialcam to make its professional film and video technology more widely available to the consumer market.

“We want to bridge the gap between the professional creator and the amateur consumer,” Hanna said in an interview. “We want to give consumers access to build amazing products.” Hanna wouldn’t comment on how the acquisition will be financed.

The company said it signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition yesterday and expects to close the deal within 30 days.

Autodesk generated $2.22 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended in January, up 14 percent from a year earlier. The shares rose 1.7 percent to $31.93 at the close in New York. They’ve risen 5.3 percent this year.

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