For somewhere between $US30 million and $US60 million, depending on which insider you prefer, Yahoo! has continued its acquisition spree, picking up e-mail management startup Xobni. Since Xobni had total raisings of $US42 million since being founded in 2006, the sale price is important, at least to its investors: they either …
There's no way the investors would have approved this sale if there wasn't something terribly wrong with the company/product. Every VC deal I've been involved in has sale conditions (minimum return, etc...) in the contract and the only times I've seen those conditions change is if the investors are about to lose big or aren't confident it can ever be sold.
Re: What's Wrong?
It's pretty obvious. General failure to thrive. It's kind of sad really. Of all the high profile startups from the last few years, Xobni was the closest to having a real product and a real business model. They just got seduced by easy money. If they'd taken 100K and turned it an email plugin that made it really easy to organise your inbox, they'd be swimming in black ink right now and on to their third or fourth successful product. Instead, they took 40 million, and you have to sell a whole lot of email plugins to pay for what 40 mil buys you. Hence the wreckage of enterprise this and cloud that. And hence the being sold off for spare parts to a company always on the lookout for novel ways to put itself out of business.
Re: What's Wrong?
Simple really, on one hand Outlook's internal search improved a lot and (more importantly) the switch to a subscription model killed it off. It was a pure greed play that proved counter productive.
I actually looked at buying Xobni (the plugin, not the company) after being impressed with the trial version. Once I realised you couldn't buy it, only agree to pay them money on a regular basis, I binned it. As you say it didn't help that Outlook's internal search was suddenly much more helpful.
Still seems like withdrawing the product immediately after buying the company is a waste though, but that's pretty much par for the course with Yahoo.
It was a startup in 2006.......
It was a startup in 2006, but it's surely not still one now...?
(Unless start-up = not been bought out yet)
Here we going AGAIN!
Xobni was already fucked up before Yahoo! even got their greasy paws on it (costs, no Outlook 2013 support and other such griping)
Not sure how much more Melissa can screw around with the app or the people. If it were an Aqui-hire then I wonder just how many of those beaming smiling faces of the Xobniites featured on the blog post that detailed the purchase, will be just as beaming and happy as a Yahooligan.
I know that every time I've had one of the business I worked for had been purchased by someone else that it pretty much meant it was time to get the ol' resume updated and get the flock out of there before the shit-hammer hit.
Don't think Ms Mayer's going to be happy until she's Borg'd half the Internet.
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