Yahoo, on a Buying Tear, Picks Up Browser Maker Rockmelt
If Yahoo keeps up its current pace in buying other Web services companies, there soon might not be any of them left.
The pioneering Web search and services provider Aug. 2 made its 20th acquisition in the last 12 months and second in three days when it announced the annexation of new-gen social-networking browser maker Rockmelt.
Terms of the deal were not made immediately available by Yahoo, but AllThingsD reported that between $60 million to $70 million changed virtual hands. All of the 20 deals have gone into the books since Marissa Mayer moved from Google to take over as CEO in July 2012.
With this move, Yahoo is taking a direct punch at Mayer's former employer, by far the most-utilized search engine in the world. Rockmelt's browser melds both search and social networking in a way that no other company has been able to do successfully up to now.
As of August, No. 1 searcher Google serves about 900 million users per month, with Microsoft Bing at about 165 million and Yahoo third at 160 million. Rockmelt isn't in the top 15, according to ebizmba.com, which compiles up-to-date search metrics using the Alexa online analytics service.
Rockmelt developed its social Web browser on the Google Chromium open-source operating system. One of its key value-adds is that it has automatic integration with both Facebook and Twitter in order to populate search pages with links to Facebook and Twitter friends who are currently online.
Rockmelt stopped accepting new signups immediately after the acquisition announcement was made. Further, Rockmelt's apps and entire Website will shut down after Aug. 31, Yahoo said, because Yahoo plans to integrate Rockmelt's intellectual property throughout various products.
Previously, Rockmelt had raised about $40 million from venture capitalists such as Netscape creator Marc Andreesen of Andreessen Horowitz, Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla and Accel Partners.
Andreessen's principal engineer for Netscape Navigator, Robert John Churchill, is the principal engineer for RockMelt.