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Canon acquires London photo startup Lifecake to build Tech City presence

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The newly purchased business is targeted at families, enabling parents to store, organise, and share moments captured with their children.

Timelines can be viewed by all family members across smartphones, tablets and PCs, while the digital images can be printed in tangible photo albums for £35.

Nicholas Babaian, CEO and co-founder of Lifecake, said: “With the reach and technology of Canon, we’ll strap booster rockets onto our service. At the same time, our team will accelerate the growth of Canon’s digital services ecosystem.

“But we’re most delighted that our existing and potential customers will know their precious memories are safe with one of the most trusted brands in photography – a company that’s helped families capture and relive moments for nearly 80 years and will continue to do so for generations to come.”

The idea came to Babaian after visiting his nephew some 6,000 miles away, thus he set out to use communications experience from Skype to bring families together.

Canon Europe’s ambition with the London startup is to establish a Tech City presence and also bolster its digital consumer services business. The Lifecake apps are free to download from the App Store and Google Play, though revenue is generated from in-app purchases that vary from 50p to £29.

Business accelerator Tech City UK demonstrated how popular the space is on 21 April, revealing its Digital Business Academy for free online skills has topped 12,000 registrations.

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Alberto Spinelli, director of digital services at Canon Europe, said: “Today, we are all taking more photos on more devices than ever before but often become overwhelmed and even disconnected from them. 

“At Canon, we are building digital services to help people with tailored experiences. Lifecake is an extremely exciting addition to the Canon Group providing a digital service that makes it easy for families to take control of their ever-increasing number of photos. 

“This acquisition fits perfectly with our vision to give everyone taking photos the tools to bring their stories and experiences to life – and engage with them whenever and wherever they choose.”

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