Socialcam And Its 4 Employees Get Acquired For $60 Million: A Conversation With CEO Mike Seibel And Autodesk

michael seibel socialcam
Michael Seibel cofounded Socialcam.

[credit provider=”Michael Seibel”]

Today Socialcam, a four-person mobile video startup, was acquired by Autodesk for $60 million.Autodesk is a 3D design software company and the maker of AutoCAD.

Socialcam is only 18 months old and it’s been downloaded on 16 million phones. It spun out of Justin.TV and has three cofounders, Michael Seibel, Ammon Bartram and Guillame Luccisano. This is Seibel’s first big exit.

Socialcam is a graduate of the most recent Y Combinator class. The amount of financing it raised was never disclosed, but it had more than 30 angel investors. It’s safe to say that the four-person team made out pretty well financially though.

We spoke with Autodesk vice president Samir Hanna and Seibel about the acquisition.

Here’s (a lightly edited version of) what they had to say.

Business Insider: Since when has Autodesk been interested in video and mobile startups?

Samir Hanna: We’ve, for a couple of years now, been building towards being the go-to company for all kinds of creative apps. Video was missing. Now with Socialcam we have it. We’re after unlocking the creativity in everyone.

BI: How long have Socialcam and Autodesk been in talks?

SH: Things are moving fast in this field. We’ve been in touch for a few months.

BI: What was it about Socialcam that attracted Autodesk?

SH: We have a joint passion for video and creativity. We also really liked their team.

BI: Did you look into acquiring any other video mobile apps, like Viddy?

SH: No comment.

BI: How big is Autodesk’s mobile business?

SH: In terms of size, we’re 80 million users across more than 15 mobile apps.  Sketchbook, our drawing app, is a top performer. Pixlr is our photo app.

BI: How often does Autodesk make acquisitions? Is this the first of many?

SH: We make acquisitions when we come across a company we really like that has the right team. We acquired Pixlr; last year we also acquired Instructables.

BI: Michael, your startup is only 18 months old and it has seen a lot of success in terms of users and traffic. Why did you opt to sell?

Michael Seibel: We were offered an amazing opportunity to do two things. The first was to continue working as an independent unit. We’re not just rolling into another product, but we’re being given the opportunity to work with Autodesk to continue making the product better and better and significantly increase the number of video creators in the world.

Also, Autodesk has been building up a big presence across apps. We’re excited to work with the team to improve video and share ideas across different categories.BI: What’s going on with Socialcam’s traffic? AppData makes it look like daily active users have plummeted.

Usage continues to go up. Here’s a chart from AppAnnie that shows Socialcam has climbed over 60 places in the app store recently.

socialcam appannie
Socialcam continues to climb in the App Store. Its overall rank is number 36, a 60 place jump in recent weeks.

[credit provider=”Appannie” url=””]

BI: What’s going to happen to the Socialcam team?

MS: The entire team is going to be working at Autodesk out of Socialcam’s office. Socialcam has four employees, three of whom are co-founders.For more on Socialcam’s growth story, read: How Mobile Video App Socialcam Used Facebook To Explode To 75 Million Users In 15 Months >