Yahoo is a name that many of you might not have heard for some time, but it was once one of the biggest players in the online world. But like many of those old guard, it too is now somewhat irrelevant, so it is perhaps fitting that this week it has become just another Verizon property, selling for $5 billion; a fraction of what it was once worth.
At its peak, Yahoo was a company worth around $125 billion. To give you some context to that, it’s more than twice Facebook’s total equity and only a little less than that of Alphabet, the parent company of Google and its many subsidiaries. And now it’s going to become just another feather in Verizon’s cap.
At least it will be in good company though. The American telecom giant purchased another internet old-guard last year, in AOL. Together it and Yahoo will provide a core service for older internet users, who like somewhere familiar to read their news and check their email. It is likely that Yahoo’s advertising technology and wealth of user data will be much more valuable to Verizon however.
So what happened?
As the collated history of Yahoo reads in Forbes’ in-depth break down, it just missed the mark too many times. Before the Dotcom Bubble burst in the early ’00s, it spent $10 billion buying up Geocities and Broadcast.com, choosing to pass on opportunities to buy early versions of both Google and Facebook.
It tried to catch up with the social networking craze over a decade later by buying Tumblr, though three years on from that purchase, the site’s value has ‘tumbled’ many hundreds of millions.
Marissa Mayer’s appointment in 2012 didn’t help, with an aggressive purchasing strategy not going far enough to turn around the company’s ailing fortunes. Never fear though, she stands to make tens of millions from the sale.
KitGuru Says: Are any of you sad to see Yahoo swallowed up? I’ve been impressed it still existed for at least a decade, so it’s not hugely surprising that it’s finally lost enough relevance to sell itself on.