The WSJ reports Yahoo (YHOO) is in preliminary talks to buy NDN, an online video syndication platform that provides clips for 3rd-party publishers.
Sources state Yahoo could pay $300M. However, an NDN spokeswoman says her company isn't in acquisition talks with Yahoo at this time.
NDN claims to deliver 100K+ videos to 4.5K+ publishers each month. Clients include the AP, Bloomberg, the NY Post, the Los Angeles Times. comScore estimates NDN's videos reached 51.4M U.S. unique viewers in January (#5 overall, and above Yahoo's 45M video viewers).
The WSJ's report follows one from re/code stating Yahoo is looking to poach leading YouTube content providers in an effort to grow its video content library and ad inventory.
Yahoo Japan (YAHOF) has agreed to acquire mobile and broadband provider eAccess from SoftBank (SFTBF) for ¥324B yen ($3.17B) in a deal that will expand the Internet portal's services for tablets and smartphones.
SoftBank, which owns 42.5% in Yahoo Japan, will book a special gain of ¥55.7B for the fiscal year ending March 2015. Yahoo (YHOO) owns 35% in its Japanese namesake. (PR)
Yahoo's (YHOO +1.7%) latest acquisition is Wander, maker of a diary app (known as Days) that revolves around creating/sharing a series of photos/GIFs. TechCrunch reports the price appears to be "north of $10 million."
Unlike many other Yahoo acquisition targets, Wander won't be shuttering its product. However, its time will now also work on other projects as a part of Yahoo's Mobile and Emerging Products group.
As has been the case with many other acquisitions, Sparq's service will shut down, and its team will join Yahoo. Yahoo has plenty of apps that could make use of Sparq's underlying ad technology.
Meanwhile, scrutiny of Yahoo's product and content strategy has grown following last week's firing of COO Henrique de Castro (followed by the splitting up of de Castro's responsibilities among other execs), and the resignation of seasoned editor-in-chief Jai Singh.
Pando Daily's Sarah Lacy observes Yahoo's media team might not be thrilled with Marissa Mayer's decision (following de Castro's firing) to put Yahoo's media and editorial functions under the control of marketing chief Kathy Savitt. She adds Mayer "may have taken the things that ailed Yahoo – a distracted, bloated focus across dozens of products and industries where it was good but not great – and made that problem worse."
Also: Jeff Bercovici observes unique U.S. visitors to Tumblr's site (per comScore) have been roughly flat since last spring. It's worth noting comScore's data doesn't include traffic from Tumblr's mobile apps, which has continued to grow.
Yahoo (YHOO -0.6%) has acquired PeerCDN, developer of a content delivery network (CDN) platform that relies heavily on peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic between users to lower bandwidth costs.
Yahoo might be interested in using PeerCDN's technology for its own video streaming efforts. The company recently bought live concert streaming platform Evntlive, and yesterday announced a Winter Olympics coverage partnership with NBC.
Meanwhile, Citi's Mark May has hiked his Yahoo PT to $46 from $39, even as he cuts his 2014 adjusted EBITDA forecast to $1.32B from $1.5B. His reason, unsurprisingly, is Alibaba: May now grants the Chinese e-commerce giant a forward P/E of 29 (up from a prior 22), and notes Yahoo will still own a 14% stake (down from a current 24%) post-IPO.
RBC gave Alibaba a $150B valuation last week, and assigned Yahoo's stake a $36B pre-tax valuation.
RBC's Mark Mahaney is now assigning Alibaba a $150B valuation, up from a prior $110B. That, in turn, implies a $36B pre-tax valuation for Yahoo's (YHOO +1.4%) 24% stake (up from a prior $26.4B), and has led Mahaney to hike his Yahoo PT to $44 from $38.
Talks with Chinese companies and investors lead Mahaney to think Alibaba accounts for over 50% of Chinese online retail sales, and that the company's e-commerce services are complemented by "a highly effective and broad advertising monetization engine" for merchants.
He also thinks Alibaba's cloud infrastructure (IaaS) offerings (bear a resemblance to Amazon Web Services) are gaining traction. Contacts suggest Alibaba already has "hundreds of thousands" of IaaS customers.
Separately, Yahoo has made yet another acqui-hire. The target this time is QuikIO, developer of an iOS app that let users stream and download media files from their PCs. Not surprisingly, the app will be shut down, and QuikIO's team will join Yahoo.
BI reports Yahoo (YHOO -0.3%) "began serious talks" to acquire popular image-hosting/sharing platform Imgur this fall. Given current startup valuations and reports of strong VC/acquisition interest in Imgur, a deal likely wouldn't come cheap, though its price tag would probably be less than the $1.1B Yahoo paid for Tumblr.
Imgur had 100M+ unique users as of September, up from just 30M at the beginning of 2012. Unlike Yahoo's Flickr (or for that matter, Facebook/Instagram), a large portion of its content doesn't consist of photos taken by users, but 3rd-party images (often animated and/or featuring text) created with public sharing in mind.
Initially created as a image-hosting solution for article-sharing site Reddit, Imgur's reach now exceeds Reddit. Facebook and Twitter account for much of its referral traffic.
Much like Tumblr, it's quite popular with the younger users Yahoo wants to reach out to. Also like Tumblr, some of its edgy and offbeat material may rub advertisers the wrong way.
In its latest talent/tech acquisition, Yahoo (YHOO) has acquired Evntlive, provider of a platform that enables the live streaming of concerts. Evntlive's service will shut down, and its team will join Yahoo.
This isn't the first time Yahoo bought a startup for its streaming tech: A year ago, the company bought OntheAir, a developer of apps that enable group video chats and webcasts.
Though progress has been incremental, Yahoo has made a priority out of improving the breadth and quality of its professional video content (and thereby grow its video ad inventory), as the Katie Couric deal drove home.
Yahoo (YHOO) has bought SkyPhrase, a developer of natural language-processing technology focused on Web analytics and statistical analysis. SkyPhrase says its team will aid the Yahoo Labs R&D unit in "making computers deeply understand people's natural language and intentions."
One of the test apps developed by SkyPhrase allowed users to do natural language searches related to fantasy football stats. That suggests Yahoo might apply the startup's technology to its very popular stable of fantasy sports services. The other app focused on natural language searches for Web traffic data. created by Google Analytics.
SkyPhrase might also complement the technology Yahoo acquired from Summly, whose news summarization algorithm also attempts to decipher the meaning behind human language.
Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Nuance, and Amazon have also been making investments in natural language processing.
Yahoo (YHOO -2.2%) has acquired LookFlow, developer of artificial intelligence algorithms that analyze and automatically group images. LookFlow says its technology will be applied to Flickr, and that its team will help Yahoo "build a new deep learning group" within the company.
Facebook and Google have also shown an interest in using deep learning to help organize content, and decide what material should be shown to users.
Yahoo's acquisition comes two months after it bought IQ Engines, a developer of online photo APIs that detect faces enable interaction with product/brand images. IQ Engines' products are also being integrated with Flickr.
In a move that could pave the way for a U.S. IPO, Alibaba has received approval from the NYSE (NYX, ICE) and Nasdaq (NDAQ) to maintain management/founder control of its board, should it list on one of the exchanges. Hong Kong's unwillingness to agree to the same had led the Chinese e-commerce giant to pursue a U.S. listing.
Alibaba, whose Q2 numbers were released last week by 24% shareholder Yahoo (YHOO +1.8%), will likely have a $100B+ IPO valuation, given the current multiples being assigned to U.S. and Chinese Internet names. That means its offering could exceed Facebook's in size, and will easily dwarf Twitter's.
No word on whether Yahoo, which (per Marissa Mayer) wants to limit the number of apps it offers to 12-15, plans to shut Hitpost's apps down and/or integrate its features with other Yahoo sports apps (of which there are plenty). The report comes three months after Yahoo bought fantasy sports app developer Bignoggins.
Rockmelt originally developed a browser featuring deep social media/messaging integration, but shifted its focus to personalized news/social reader apps. The reader apps also struggled to gain a following in the face of competition from Flipboard, Pulse, and many others.
Yahoo: "We share a common goal to help people discover the best personalized content from around the web. We can’t wait to integrate the Rockmelt technology into our platform." Is integration with Yahoo's Summly-powered flagship app on the way?
Erick Schonfeld sees Rockmelt giving Yahoo a "huge influx of engineering talent."
E-commerce app/services provider Lexity announces Yahoo (YHOO -1.2%) has acquired it. The startup, founded by ex-Yahoo Amit Kumar, says its apps will "continue to run seamlessly," and support both Yahoo and 3rd-party platforms.
Kara Swisher recently reported of a pending Yahoo/Lexity deal.
Lexity, whose apps analyze e-commerce sites/apps before making personalized recommendations for advertising and monetization, says it has "tens of thousands of customers across 114 countries."