Google Acquires San Diego’s Nik Software, a Photo FX Specialist

9/27/12Follow @bvbigelow

Google has acquired San Diego-based Nik Software, a 17-year-old company that found its niche making software plug-ins used primarily by professional photographers to create special effects with Adobe Photoshop. Vivek “Vic” Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president for engineering, did not disclose financial terms of the deal in a recent Google+ blog post announcing the acquisition.

Nik’s software tools can be used to burnish sunsets, create midnight-like effects, and to improve specific portions of a photo. In a 2010 interview with USA Today, CEO Michael Slater said the company’s potential market was small—only about 150,000 people—although the newspaper estimated the category represented potential sales of $100 million a year.

The San Diego company’s first mobile imaging app, Snapseed, was named iPad App of the Year in the iTunes Rewind 2011 and received the TIPA award for Best Mobile App earlier this year from the international Technical Image Press Association.   Three months ago, Nik said its popular photo editing and sharing app for the iPad and iPhone had more than 9 million users.

After welcoming Nik Software to the Google family on Sept. 17, Gundotra posted another entry four days later, apparently to allay the fears of photographers everywhere. “Earlier this week I proudly welcomed +Nik Software to Google,” Gundotra writes. “They’ve been making pictures more awesome for 17 years, and we’re excited to bring Nik’s expertise to the entire Google+ community!

“I also want to make something clear: we’re going to continue offering and improving Nik’s high-end tools and plug-ins. Professionals across the globe use Nik to create the perfect moment in their photographs … and we care deeply about their artistry.

Together with Nik, we’ll continue to put ‘photography first.’”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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