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Autodesk acquires Socialcam for £38 million

Autotech, a 3D design and engineering company, today signed a $60 million (£38m) agreement to acquire mobile social video service Socialcam, a startup that launched in 2011.

A smartphone app and web-based service available for the iOS and Android platforms, Socialcam has gained more than 16 million downloads in its short life, according to a press release, due in part to its integration with Facebook and Twitter.

"Mobile computing, the cloud and social media are improving and changing the way people design, engineer and create projects," Samir Hanna, Autodesk Consumer Group vice president, said in a statement.

Hanna called video "an ideal medium" for people to communicate and share their design ideas, adding that Autodesk is excited to have Socialcam's services on deck to help grow the company's portfolios for digital art, personal design, home design, and entertainment.

Still, Autodesk will prioritise support for the existing Socialcam community, the release said. Socialcam's blog promised users that the acquisition will not affect them, except in the way that the service will have more resources with which to grow.

"Socialcam shares Autodesk's mission of helping everybody imagine, design and create a better world," Socialcam CEO Michael Seibel (below) said in a statement.

The acquisition comes at a time when California-based Autodesk seems to be shifting away from traditional desktop computer, and moving toward web apps, Bloomberg said. The company's engineering software has been used in ventures including bridge design and film special effects.

"Autodesk has a proven track record of acquiring and scaling fast-growing, early stage consumer businesses while staying true to their core audience and vision," Socialcam said about its new boss.

Autodesk provides access to apps like photo editor Pixlr, digital illustrator SketchBook, and 3D designer 123D, which Seibel added to the list of reasons why Autodesk is "empowering creativity" by making their Academy Award-winning technology accessible worldwide.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of October, according to Autodesk.