Yahoo's acquisition merry-go-round continues

Since becoming Yahoo CEO last summer, Marissa Mayer has embarked on a acquisition spree.

Updated July 5, 2013: And the spending spree continues. In May, Yahoo laid down a cool $1.1 billion to get hip with its acquisition of blogging site Tumblr. The company added two more purchases to their shopping list in June: Rondee and Ghostbird. And with July comes three more investments: Bignoggins Productions, Qwiki, and Xobni.

The very name Bignoggins hints at Yahoo's acquisition strategy. Since Marissa Mayer took the helm of Yahoo, the company has been using start-up purchases to secure tech talent, reinvigorate the company, and attract a new generation of mobile users. While it remains to be seen whether money can buy business success, it certainly has bought brainpower. 

A look at Yahoo's recent run on brainpower:


One of the latest in Yahoo's string of purchases, Bignoggins is the creator of several fantasy sports mobile apps including "Fantasy Monster" and "Draft Monster." Bignoggins founder Jerry Shen will join Yahoo's mobile engineering team at their headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.


The email inbox managment service Xobni cost Yahoo somewhere between $30 and $60 million. Judging from this blog post by Xobni, the staff from the San Francisco startup will join Yahoo's ranks in Sunnyvale, California -- and happily.


Yahoo paid around $50 million for Qwiki. The New York startup makes an app that allows users creat short movies from photos, music and video on their phone. The Qwiki team will reportedly join Yahoo.


Yahoo announced its purchase of Ghostbird in June, the maker of several iOS photo-editing apps, on Wednesday. Ghostbird's team will work with Yahoo's Flickr division.


Right on the heels of the Ghostbird purchase, Yahoo picked up Rondee, a free conference calling service. The company says its staff will join Yahoo's Small Business team.


Yahoo expects the Tumblr deal, priced at $1.1 billion, to increase its audience by 50 percent, to more than a billion visitors a month. But the most important thing about those new users is, they’re young.


Yahoo purchased Stamped, which was Mayer's first acquisition as CEO, in October of 2012. Stamped is a New York City start-up with a mobile app that allows users to record and share recommendations with friends. All of Stamped's nine employees were reported to join Yahoo.


In December of 2012, Yahoo purchased video chat broadcasting app OnTheAir. The app lets people webcast single or splitscreen interviews. All five members of the start-up joined Yahoo's mobile team.


In January of 2013, Yahoo acquired Snip.It, a Pinterest-like app which lets users clip and display news articles. All but one of Snip.It's 10-person staff were reported to join Yahoo.


Mayer made the move to purchase Propeld, the maker of mobile app Alike, which lets users mark nearby venues as "favorites," in February of 2013. After the acquisition, the Alike team moved over to work at Yahoo.


In March, Yahoo purchased Jybe, a startup food, event, book, and movie recommendations service that hopes to "help connect people with the world around them." Jybe was founded by three ex-Yahoo employees, who will now re-enter the company fold.


Last month, Yahoo acquired news-reading app Summly from its 17-year-old founder Nick D'Aloisio. D'Aloisio is working with the company to incorporate Summly's technology, which translates long-form news stories into shorter summaries, into Yahoo's mobile apps.

About the author

Katie Long is an associate producer for the Marketplace Morning Report.


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