Yahoo to Buy Software Firm Xobni for About $70 Million
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) paid about $70 million to acquire Xobni Corp., a developer of contact-management software, people with knowledge of the matter said, as Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer continues a shopping spree that’s netted three startups in as many days.
Xobni’s tools for finding and storing phone numbers and addresses will be included in Yahoo’s mail and messaging products, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The price includes incentive-based compensation for Xobni shareholders, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
The purchase follows Mayer’s acquisitions earlier this week of startups Qwiki Inc. and Bignoggins Productions, as she seeks to add talent and technology by buying teams of software engineers. The CEO, who joined Yahoo a year ago, has made improvements to messaging products in her bid to win users and advertisers back from Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (FB)
“It’s impossible to know which acquisition will pay off, so better for Yahoo to make many acquisitions,” said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group LLC who has a hold rating on the shares.
Most of Xobni’s services will continue functioning normally through July 2, 2014, the company said on its website. Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte, a former Yahoo executive, has moved to the company’s Sunnyvale headquarters along with his team.
Sara Gorman, a spokeswoman for Yahoo, declined to comment on the purchase price.
Takeovers are helping Yahoo build new products and improve existing ones, Mike Kerns, Yahoo’s vice president of social and personalization, said in an interview July 1.
“We’re clearly interested in using acquisitions as a means to bolster talent, bolster technology and improve our product suite,” Kerns said.
Yahoo has bought at least 16 companies since Mayer joined the Web portal, including the $1.1 billion purchase of blogging platform Tumblr Inc. She has also snapped up mobile app makers Stamped Inc. and Jybe Inc., as well as Summly, the news-reading application created by teenager Nick D’Aloisio.
Earlier this week, Yahoo acquired Qwiki, a tool for creating videos on iPhones, and Bignoggins Productions, a mobile application for managing fantasy sports teams.
Mayer, an engineer who was Google’s 20th employee, has embraced her roots as a technologist and is pushing Yahoo to be at the forefront of sleek new apps and services.
Yahoo’s shares rose 2.4 percent to $25.59 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 29 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
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