Did Yahoo ‘Snap Up’ Snip.It Just To Get Its Hands On Ramy Adeeb?


Yahoo is moving forward with CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy of acquiring high value startups with talented teams, announcing that it’s snapped up the content discovery and sharing website Snip.it for a price thought to be in the “mid-teens” of millions of dollars.

The deal seems to have gone through fairly quickly. AllThingsD first revealed Yahoo’s interest in Snip.it yesterday morning, and the acquisition was confirmed later in the same day by Reuters. Following the announcement, Snip.it announced that it will be shutting down its current services in a post on its home page, stating that it will instead focus on bringing “social news” to Yahoo, without giving any more details. As of today, Snip.it users have exactly 30 days to download their data from the site.

That Snip.it is closing down will undoubtedly sadden the site’s users, and the decision suggests that Yahoo bought out the firm primarily to get its hands on the company’s talent rather than its product. For one thing, many of Yahoo’s products (Yahoo Answers, for example) are in desperate need of a makeover, something that Snip.it’s talent for designing pretty user interfaces would come in handy for.

However, according to a post on SFGate.com, Mayer’s primary motivation for the acquisition was likely to be so she could get her hands on Snip.it’s talented CEO Ramy Adeeb (pictured left).

Adeeb founded Snip.it during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 when he realized that services like Twitter and Facebook were inadequate for sharing items related to the uprising, as most of his contacts were uninterested in the news. However, Adeeb brings with him a lot more than just keen eye for a decent social media product. He also has a wealth of powerful connections from his time working at the investment firm Khosla Ventures, and from his time at Tellme, an enterprise startup that was later purchased by Microsoft for $800 million. By hiring the services of Adeeb, Mayer will be able to get the inside track on any promising startups backed by Khosla or Tellme’s alumni, giving Yahoo a huge advantage as it pursues a strategy of “small, high-value acquisitions that can be integrated with the company’s existing products and core strengths”, as suggested by SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier last year.

SFGate suggests that Adeeb will spend some time helping to find roles for the Snip.it team at Yahoo, after which he may be tasked with leading the firm’s acquisition strategy, helping to develop a team that can drive Yahoo’s expected mobile-driven transformation.