The last two years have been big years for Yahoo on many levels, but particularly when it comes to companies they have acquired. Hot start-up companies are often times looking for their big payday from giants like Yahoo. Those giants in turn gain from many of these start-ups in terms of growth. In fact, I think you could say that Yahoo has this strategy in mind: growth by acquisition. Some of these acquisitions have turned out to be a great catch, and others have managed to fade away. With each acquisition comes the hope of a new targeted audience that will help the company grow to new levels. Let’s take a look at some of the acquisitions Yahoo has made over the last two years :
Back in early 2005, Yahoo began their acquisition extravaganza and managed to sweep up Flickr for 40 million. Flickr has now become one of the most popular (if not- the most popular) photo managing, and sharing sites on the web. After Flickr was acquired, they experienced a significant amount of growth, and according to Alexa, they rank the 38th most visited site on the web over the last 3 months.
Another big buy in July 2005 was Konfabulator, the “widget engine” that Yahoo renamed to ‘ Yahoo Widget Engine.” This quickly became popular simply because of the thousands of widgets that they have available. This continues to grow, and in April Yahoo Widget Engine 3.1 was released. New widgets are consistently being created making ‘ Yahoo Widget Engine’ more useful each day.
Social bookmarking site Del.icio.us ended the year of acquisitions for Yahoo in 2005 when they paid a rumored 15-30 million for the social bookmarking service. Del.icio.us grew from a reported 300,000 subscribers when it was acquired to a reported 1 million subscribers today.
Other Yahoo Acquisitions of 2005 that we haven’t heard much about (if anything):
- Stadeon – Part of the expansion of Yahoo! Games business
- Dialpad – technology used for Yahoo! Messenger with Voice
- Blo.gs – Lets you keep an eye on your favorite weblogs
- Alibaba – Hong Kong based e-commerce/e-auction company.
- Upcoming.org – Social Events calendar.
2006 included the acquisitions of:
- Jumpcut – Online video solution
- adInterax – Media design/advertising
- Bix.com – Like the YouTube for contests
- SearchFox – RSS aggregator
It will definitely be interesting to see what Yahoo! does with their list of 2006 acquisitions, but also what we might see added to the list for 2007. They’ve just been turned down by Facebook after a 1.6 billion dollar offer. Any predictions on what 2007 might bring?