Marissa Mayer Snaps-Up Stamped In Mobile Talent Grab For Yahoo

October 29, 2012 0

Sunnyvale, California – In an attempt to take the struggling internet pioneer to new heights, newly appointed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer over the weekend tweeted that it has purchased Stamped, a year-old mobile recommendations-focused startup along with a team of talented ex-Googlers, to help the company catch up to competitors far ahead in the all-important race for mobile mindshare.

On the heels of a positive earnings announcement earlier this week, Yahoo is aspiring to keep the momentum going with a brand new acquisition. Mayer confirmed the acquisition on Twitter with an Instagram picture of her at the Stamped headquarters with the startup’s founding trio: former Google employees Robby Stein and Bart Stein, and Kevin Palms, as pictured below. Yahoo also announced the deal on its corporate blog.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer with the Stamped team in New York… (Credit: Yahoo)

Here is the tweet:


According to Mashable reports quoting unnamed sources, before an official statement was released that this was purely a “talent” acquisition. That was confirmed, so to speak, by the Stamped team on late last week.


Here is an excerpt, which might explain why Stamped is being brought into the Yahoo fold: The full statement is available over on Stamped’s website.

As for our team’s next step, we could not be more thrilled to join Yahoo!. As a team of mostly former Googlers, we have all worked with and are big fans of Marissa. So when an opportunity arose to become a part of the team at Yahoo!, we jumped. 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 are thrilled to be joining them!

Essentially, the acquisition of New York City-based Stamped was aimed at tailoring products, content and services to smartphones, tablet computers and other gadgets central to Internet Age lifestyles, according to Yahoo! senior vice president of emerging products and technology Stamped.

As a matter of fact, earlier this year, Stamped unveiled a remodeled version of the application and added a number of high-profile seed investors, including celebrities Justin Bieber, Ellen Degeneres, and Ryan Seacrest, to its investor list.

Elaborating on the latest acqui-hire, the company executing said, “Today, we are excited to disclose that we have acquired a very talented team based in New York City to help us create a new center of mobile product development for Yahoo,” Adam Cahan, senior vice president of emerging products and technology, wrote in a blog post. Cahan is also the creator of IntoNow, the second-screen TV-tagging application Yahoo picked up before Mayer landed at the company.

Adding further he said, “Mobile is at the center of how everything we do, every day we connect with people, consume information, and pass the time, and we are concentrated on making Yahoo the most encouraging and entertaining way to do just that,” Cahan wrote in a blog post.

Stamped, which was unfurled as a smartphone app last November, lets users recommend books, movies, restaurants, and other things to friends by giving them a virtual stamp of approval. It employs a Twitter-like social graph that allows users to follow recommendations from both friends and celebrities, like chef Mario Batali.

In addition, terms of the deal were not revealed, but the acquisition appears to be more for Stamped’s team than for the startup’s application, which encourages users to give their stamp of approval to their favorite bars, restaurants, songs, apps, and so forth.

Henceforth, the Stamped app will be discontinued by the end of year. Co-founders Robby Stein, Bart Stein, and Kevin Palms said, in a letter posted to the company’s website, that the team will be “creating a brand new product and engineering office for Yahoo in NYC’s Bryant Park.”

Mashable, which first communicated the acquisition news said Mayer acquired Stamped purely for its talent, a nine-person team that includes five ex-Googlers.

“Robby, Kevin, Paul, Bart, and the entire Stamped team are a natural fit for us,” Cahan, said in an announcement on the corporate blog. “Their experience building fun, useful, personalized mobile products corresponds well with Yahoo’s vision to create the best everyday mobile experience for our users. They will be a great asset as we expand Yahoo’s mobile frontier and build a world-class mobile development organization.”

Mayer has now set the ball rolling, who left Google in July to take over as chief of Yahoo!, which has been struggling to reinvent itself after being eclipsed by Google in the online search market.