Font foundry Monotype, a company specializing in digital typesetting and typeface design, has acquired Olapic, a startup that helps brands garner relevant photos and videos from social media users for marketing campaigns.
Founded in the 1880s, Massachusetts-based Monotype, in all its various guises, has been a key player in the evolution of printing technology. It played a crucial part in the development of the first mechanical typesetter and also helped produce some of the most familiar fonts you see today, including Times New Roman and Arial. Olapic has a less illustrious history, but since its inception in 2010, the New York-based startup has nabbed more than $20 million in funding and has played a notable part in bringing user-generated content to marketers.
So why would a font foundry acquire a company such as Olapic? According to a press release, it’s all part of Monotype’s mission to serve brands across two key areas — marketing and design.
“Olapic will extend Monotype’s ability to help brands express their story and engage with customers in a richer, more impactful way,” explained Scott Landers, president and CEO of Monotype. “Our value has always been predicated on type, technology and expertise, and Olapic strengthens us on all three fronts. Whether an ‘asset’ is type, branded emoji or chat, and now user-generated content, they all serve a similar purpose, which is to elevate a brand’s identity both online and offline. We also offer technology and expertise that maximizes the use and value of all of these assets to address customers’ most critical brand needs – whether defining brands or engaging with consumers in new, impactful ways.”
Monotype has made a number of acquisitions in recent times. A few years back, it snapped up Typecast, a startup that was making big waves in the webfont world. But last year it made another curious acquisition when it spent $27 million on Swyft Media, a startup that creates and licenses branded stickers for messaging apps.
Moving forward, Olapic will become a division of Monotype and will be integrated into Monotype’s existing services. The deal is expected to close in Q3 2016.