Why would Marissa Mayer buy Stamped only to eliminate its products? Stamped is an app startup that’s run by several of her old Google chums.
Since taking over the reins at Yahoo back in July, speculation has been rife on what Mayer’s first purchase will be, and now all of those who have been waiting with baited breath for her to get the check book out can rest easy as the deed has finally been done. Those looking for media jobs will no doubt see opportunities increase in the clamour as startups shout to get their share of the Yahoo purse.
Who or What is Stamped?
Stamped is a mobile and web app that allows users to share and keep track of the things they like such as restaurants, books, shops, films and other apps. Users can access the recommendations of their friends and those of the so-called ‘tastemakers’ – key influencers that include top chef Mario Balati (who is an advisor to the company), and film critic Peter Travers.
Instead of rating a book, restaurant or film with a star rating or feedback, you simply ‘stamp’ the item to show your approval. As a user grows their social connections, so they can discover new and interesting experiences as recommended by people they trust.
Back in July – around the same time Mayer joined Yahoo – Stamped issued a significant update to its iOS version and a new round of funding (rumoured to be around $3 million) was also completed which boasted some big names. As well as tech investors including Google Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures, the company also secured backing from Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber and TV presenter Ryan Seacrest. This happy band of celebrities has also been inaugurated as Stamped ‘tastemakers’ and their recommendations are there to be enjoyed by ordinary users.
So Why Stamped for Mayer?
As we’ve already revealed, Mayer is no stranger to the team behind Stamped. She worked closely with co-founder and CEO Robby Stein at Google where he oversaw the launch of Gmail among other major projects. Another co-founder, Bart Stein, also worked at Google; as did VP Paul Estlund, Lead Product Designer Anthony Cafaro and Software Engineer Geoff Liu.
So, could this acquisition be more about talent than product? The short answer is yes. The purchase took place at the end of October and already the company has announced it will discontinue both its iPhone and web app by the end of the year.
The Stamped buy-out is being hailed as the first major purchase in Yahoo’s drive to go mobile. All nine Stamped employees will join Yahoo and will face the challenge of developing a major mobile development centre and bring coherence to Yahoo’s mobile strategy. Team Stamped have already decamped to Yahoo and have begun an ‘aggressive’ recruitment campaign. Good news for anyone seeking a job in the technology sector.
Mayer has made no secret of the fact that mobile is where it’s at for Yahoo and has stated previously that its current mobile offer is spread far too thinly across over 70 apps for iOS and Android.
She said: “Our top priority is a focused, coherent mobile strategy… at some point [in the near future] we’ll have to be a predominantly mobile company.”
Great news for Stamped!