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Mayer-Era Yahoo Stamps Its First Acquisition

Buys mobile startup to build mobile office in NYC
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During Yahoo’s quarterly earnings call on Monday, CEO Marissa Mayer said she doesn’t “have any particular acquisitions in mind today.” She wasn’t being entirely candid. On Thursday Yahoo announced its first acquisition since Mayer took the reins in July. The company has bought mobile recommendations startup Stamped. Mashable first reported the news earlier on Thursday.

While Stamped has made its name (and drawn more than $3 million in funding) by offering an app that has users recommend things such as restaurants, books and movies, Yahoo isn’t snatching the startup for its technology. Stamped—highlighted by Time Inc. in May as one of the top 25 New York-based startups—informed its users on Thursday that it would shut down its apps by the end of the year.

Instead, the Stamped team will comprise the foundation of a new mobile product development office in New York, according to a Yahoo blog post announcing the acquisition. Neither Yahoo nor Stamped offered details as to what specifically the mobile team will be working on, but Mayer stressed the importance of mobile to Yahoo’s future during Monday’s earnings call.

“Mobile is not only a daily habit but a fundamental and massive platform shift,” she said before confessing that “Yahoo hasn’t capitalized on the mobile opportunity” and citing shortcomings in optimizing Yahoo sites for mobile and underinvesting in mobile development.

The New York mobile product office is only the latest example that Yahoo intends to expand its presence in the Big Apple. Earlier this week Adweek reported that newly hired COO Henrique de Castro will be based in New York.