Marissa Mayer promised earlier this week that Yahoo‘s deal-making was likely to revolve around smaller add-on acquisitions. On Thursday, she proved that she meant what she said.
The Internet company announced that it had purchased Stamped, a start-up focused on mobile products, for an undisclosed amount. The deal amounts to an “acqui-hire,” Silicon Valley’s term for buying a start-up for its talent.
The Stamped deal fits into two major initiatives that Ms. Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive, mentioned on the company’s earnings call on Monday. One was a focus on smaller deals, none of which were likely to be blockbuster size.
“Many acquisitions and most acquisitions, a vast majority, are less than $100 million,” she told analysts on the call. “And so we’re looking for smaller-scale acquisitions that align well overall with our businesses.”
The other is a race to build up Yahoo’s mobile offerings, an area that she described as lacking at the company.
“While we’ve made progress, Yahoo hasn’t capitalized on the mobile opportunity,” she said. “We haven’t effectively optimized our Web sites, we’ve underinvested in our mobile front-end development and we’ve splintered our brands.”
Buying Stamped is intended to help address those issues. The company produced an app that centered on recommendations of restaurants, music and other by users. Its investors included Bain capital Ventures and Google Ventures, and its advisers included Mario Batali and the Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.
“Their experience building fun, useful, personalized mobile products aligns well with Yahoo!’s vision to create the best everyday mobile experience for our users,” Adam Cahan, a Yahoo senior vice president of emerging products and technology, wrote in a blog post on Thursday. “They will be a great asset as we expand Yahoo’s mobile efforts and build a world-class mobile development organization.”
For its part, Stamped’s team — composed in large part of former employees of Google, like Ms. Mayer — wrote in their own blog post: “As entrepreneurs, it’s never easy to walk away from something you built from the ground up, but the folks we met with at Yahoo! are simply top-notch and we’re thrilled to be joining them!”