Calgary-based startup Slyce.it has just announced it’s acquiring Hovr.it, a graduate of the Incubes accelerator here in Toronto – and the first startup coming out of Incubes to be acquired.

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Hovr.it co-founder Adam Jarczyn said Hovr.it’s entire team will be joining Slyce at its Toronto office, with him at the helm of Slyce’s product offerings.

Both companies are focused in visual search technology, with Slyce.it allowing consumers to take pictures of objects in the real world using their smartphones, and then matching them to similar items that retailers are selling. Hovr.it focused on allowing users to hover over images on Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media sites, with its proprietary technology finding links to sites where they could buy the same products, or similar offerings.

The two companies began talking about a possible deal about five months ago, Jarczyn said. He added in the past, Hovr.it was focusing on consumers, but Slyce.it convinced the company it should look at retailers, publishers, and more of the business side if it wanted to grow.

(Image: Incubes).
(Image: Incubes).

“We met each other, and we were both on a very similar route. And over just the course of many conversations, we kind of looked at it and said, you know, it’s a pretty big market where we believe in providing this kind of service, it’s hugely technical, and we just felt that together, we were in a much better position to the market than we would be apart,” Jarczyn said, adding it was great the two companies just happened to meet.

“It comes down to luck, but you have to put yourself into the position to be lucky,” he said.

The acquisition also spells good news for Incubes, says its CEO Ben Zlotnick, adding he believes this is one of the first Canadian startups coming out of an accelerator to be acquired in years.

“This is phenomenal news … it’s great for them, and we’re very excited,” he says, adding some of the mentors at Incubes helped drive some of the negotiations in the acquisition. “Incubes brought Hovr.it in during the summer of 2012, they ran through our program, so we’re talking about not even that long ago, maybe 16 to 18 months ago.”

“So we wish all the companies that are going through the Incubes program will have success in acquisitions similar to what Hovr.it has had.”

In a press release, Slyce.it announced it’d be releasing visual search applications in tandem with some North American retailers in 2014, but it didn’t disclose which ones.

It will also be hiring more people for its team in the coming months, Jarczyn said.

In November, the company completed a convertible debenture funding round, raising $2.2 million and bringing on board Mark Elfenbein, a former Mood Media executive, as its chief digital officer.

Back in May, Slyce also raised $3.75 million in seed funding, in a round led by Podium Ventures.

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