Yahoo Purchases Rondee and GhostBird: Will Marissa Mayer's Spending Spree Ever Yield Profits?

  @ryanWneal on June 13 2013 2:27 PM

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOOP) dipped into its coffers again on Wednesday to purchase two more tech start-ups: GhostBird, which makes a photo-editing app for Apple iOS devices, and Rondee, an enterprise conference calling service. The purchases come less than a month after Yahoo shelled out $1.1 billion for Tumblr. The price tags on the deals have not been disclosed, but questions about the strategy guiding these purchases is increasing. 

Rondee posted on its website that it will join Yahoo’s Small Business team to help small businesses succeed online. As for GhostBird, Yahoo announced on Twitter that it would incorporate its iOS apps into Flickr.

 

 

Yahoo recently launched new Flickr apps for Android and iOS phones, and it completely redesigned Flickr’s homepage. Yahoo will probably use GhostBird to integrate photo-editing capabilities into Flickr apps as Yahoo aims to increase its focus on mobile devices.

What Yahoo will do with Rondee, however, is matter of mystery. Will it use it to work on building an enterprise version of Messenger?

Yahoo has effectively shut down both companies' current operations. Rondee customers will be able to use the service through July 12 and access data from past calls until August 12, but no new visitors can use Rondee. GhostBird has been removed from the Apple App store. Current GhostBird users can continue using the apps, but GhostBird will not issue any new updates. Users who upgrade to the upcoming iOS 7 will probably lose their GhostBird apps.   

The purchases continue Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's pattern of purchasing small mobile and social media companies and then promptly shutting them down. Tumblr remains operating as usual, but the homepages of companies like Summly, OnTheAir and Snip.it have been replaced with announcements about their new owners. Here's a timeline of the purchases made by Mayer in less than a year of being CEO of Yahoo. 

With so many different purchases, where is Yahoo headed? Since it shut down so many of the companies it purchased recently, it’s getting hard to figure out if the purchases are providing Yahoo any benefits. ReadWrite wonders if Yahoo is simply throwing things against a wall to see what sticks.

It’s getting harder to think otherwise. 

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