Marissa Ann Mayer, the current President and CEO of Yahoo! is bent on turning Yahoo! around in the shortest time possible. Since she assumed the high office at Yahoo!, she has made significant changes to company’s culture, management and leadership. In her first earnings call as the CEO of Yahoo!, Marissa made it clear she wants to start acquiring smaller companies that “align well overall with our businesses,”. She has so so lived up to that vision and a lot acquisitions could be done before the year ends.
Yahoo spent more than $6 billion buying up startups between 2002-2012., but the company is spending a lot more since Marissa took over, hoping to gain a greater edge in mobile, bring new talent on board and improve existing services. These acquisitions are part of Mayer’s three-step plan to bring top engineering talent back to Yahoo!.
Marissa said in a conference call that Yahoo is nearing the end of its first “sprint” during her tenure as CEO. She said ‘sprint’ was about “getting people to believe in Yahoo” and making the company an appealing place to work. Mayer said the company’s focus is shifting. She now wants to focus on “Building beautiful products and executing well against Yahoo business strategy.” If Yahoo builds beautiful products, it will start seeing more engagement, which will lead to revenue and eventually growth, she said.
These are the 15 startups Yahoo! has acquired in the first 7 months of 2013.
Snip.it is a social platform for creating collections of articles, videos, and images on the web. Users create and maintain theme-based collections around interests such as politics, science, education, and fashion. On January 22, 2013, Yahoo! acquired Snip.it for $10 million, plus several million dollars worth of earnouts tied to team retention. The site was founded in the spring of 2011.
Alike, which was acquired in February 2013, offered a location-discovery app for venues. The iPhone app, which was launched by Seattle-based startup UrbanQ in October 2012, helps users discover venues nearby based on their interests. It also promotes deals for venues in your area.
Jybe is a startup founded in 2011 by three ex-Yahoo! employees. The Jybe iPhone app helps connect people with recommendations about things to do, stuff to eat, books to read and movies to watch. At Yahoo, the Jybe team will work across multiple products to improve targeting and personalization. Jybe was acquired on March 20th 2013.
Summly aimed to solve perceived problems with the way news articles are presented on smartphones. As of March 25th, 2013 Summly was sold to Yahoo for a reported $30 million making Nick D’Aloisio (the founder) one of the youngest (17 years) self-made millionaires ever. Yahoo! has integrated Summly into its Yahoo! News iPhone app.
Launched back in 2008, Astrid was a pioneer in the email management and to-do app space. The app lets you create lists and reminders, and share them with others. It also integrates with Siri on iOS to add voice-based reminders. Astrid was acquired on May 1st 2013.
GoPollGo is a real-time polling tool which helps consumers, brands and businesses get feedback from their followers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. GoPollGo was launched in 2011 and acquired in on May 9th, 2013. GoPollGo has shut down its services on its site, as well as its embeddable widgets and mobile app.
If you have rewards in multiple programs (frequent flyer miles, credit cards, hotel points…), figuring out how to use them can be a real pain. Milewise tracks all your rewards in one place. The MileWise team has joined Yahoo! in NYC’s Bryant Park office since its acquisition on May 9th, 2013. The service has been shut down.
Loki Studios was a mobile gaming startup. Announcing the deal on May 10th, 2013, Yahoo! said “Today we welcomed Loki Studios to the Yahoo! mobile team. Their experience in community and location-based mobile services is impressive and we’re excited to have them on the team.”
Tumblr is one of the biggest Yahoo! acquisitions in recent times. tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. As of May 19, 2013, Tumblr hosts over 108 million blogs. Yahoo completed its acquisition of the social network and blogging site for $1.1 billion on May 17th, 2013. Yahoo! has kept Tumblr as an independent site.
PlayerScale develops software infrastructure for cross-platform gaming. PlayerScale, which was founded in 2011, has provided backend services to thousands of game developers whose products are played by more than 150 million people worldwide. PlayerScale will not be shutting down its services. The company was acquired on May23rd 2013 at an undisclosed fee.
Photography app developer GhostBird Software was acquired for an undisclosed sum and would be taking its technology to the Flickr team. Prior to today’s acquisition, GhostBird had released three iOS photo apps: KitCam, PhotoForge, and PhotoForge 2. GhostBird was acquired by Yahoo! on June 12th 2013.
Rondee is a conference calling system that aims to be “fast, easy, and free. Yahoo acquired the enterprise conference call service provider on June 13th, 2013. Rondee’s staff will join Yahoo’s Small Business unit.
Bignoggins Productions develops mobile apps for players in fantasy sports leagues. It is the maker of popular apps such as Fantasy Monster and Draft Monster. The deal was closed on July 2nd . Jerry Shen, the founder will join Yahoo’s mobile engineering team at its California headquarters.
Qwiki’s iPhone app allows users to turn photos, music and videos into short movies automatically. The company’s initial product, an iPad application that created video summaries of over 3 million search terms, was downloaded more than 3 million times. Yahoo is reported to have acquired Qwiki for about $50 Million. The deal was closed on July 2nd 2013.
Xobni tries to make your inbox and contacts list less terrible by focusing on the people you communicate with most. Xobni first First launched to the public in 2008. The Xobni product suite discover all the people you’ve ever emailed, called or texted, and creates complete and social profiles that are instantly searchable. Xobni was acquired on July 3rd, 2013.
Expect more personalization and mobile acquisitions in Yahoo’s future.
Image courtesy Fast Company