Is Yahoo Trying to Acquire Tumblr?
All Things D reports that Yahoo is trying to get its cool on with a potential Tumblr acquisition:
Earlier this week, Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman spoke at JP Morgan’s Global Technology conference and underscored the need for the aging Silicon Valley Internet giant to attract more users from the coveted 18-to-24-years-old age bracket. Along with more marketing, he explicitly said Yahoo needed to be “cool again.” …According to sources close to the situation, that could mean a strategic alliance and investment in or outright buy of perhaps the coolest Internet company of late: Tumblr.
Adweek follows up saying a deal could be done by this weekend, adding:
Such an acquisition could be just what CEO [Marissa] Mayer has been looking for to turn around Yahoo’s momentum; Tumblr has the potential to excite the engineering/Silicon Valley community (even though it’s based in New York) while recapturing the imagination of advertisers, who have grown to view Yahoo as big but stale.
While its revenue is modest, Tumblr has positioned itself as one of the few players in the digital ad world that is well suited for brand advertising. And Tumblr is also the domain of the young, cool and creative crowd—not currently a Yahoo sweet spot.
From Tumblr’s point of view, the deal also would seem to make a lot of sense. The company has been looking to make a big exit to justify its huge valuation.
Over at GigaOm, Om Malik suggests Facebook might try to swoop in on a deal.:
We have heard that Yahoo is worried that Facebook could swoop in at the last minute and beat it to the buzzer. If the Instagram acquisition was any indication, then we shouldn’t doubt [Mark] Zuckerberg’s salesmanship. [Tumblr’s David] Karp is said to have a close relationship with Facebook and was recently spotted at the Facebook Home launch. Facebook could use the much needed younger 18-to-24 year old demographic, something it (successfully) tried to acquire with Instagram. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
Word of warning via 37signals: What happens after Yahoo acquires you:
Whether it’s Flickr, Delicious, MyBlogLog, or Upcoming, the post-purchase story is a similar one. Both sides talk about all the wonderful things they will do together. Then reality sets in. They get bogged down trying to overcome integration obstacles, endless meetings, and stifling bureaucracy. The products slow down or stop moving forward entirely. Once they hit the two-year mark and are free to leave, the founders take off. The sites are left to flounder or ride into the sunset. And customers are left holding the bag.