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Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer To Do Some Holiday Shopping?

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It appears that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, may be looking at her 25th acquisition this year, according to Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider. Carlson, citing a first-hand report by someone close to the deal, is suggesting that Yahoo and Marissa Mayer are looking at the “cool” image sharing site Imgur, a company with which Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) already has a relationship in place.

Imgur would be big deal for Marissa Mayer, Yahoo

Unlike a number of acquisitions that Marissa Mayer has made in order to acquire the staff of smaller startups, this deal could reach Tumblr proportions, Yahoo ended up laying out $1.1 billion for the blogging site earlier this year.

Tumblr was purchased for a number of reasons but high on that list were the sites engagement numbers, popularity with youth, and the fact that millions use the site on mobile devices. Each of these apply to Imgur as well.

Imgur’s origins

Imgur (pronounced “Image-er”) was put together in 2009 by Alan Schaaf, a student at Ohio University in Athens, who undertook the effort as a gift to Reddit, whose photo sharing applications didn’t meet his standards.

“I got fed up with all the other image hosts out there so I made my own. It doesn’t force you to compress your images, and it has neat things like crop, resize, rotate, and compression from 10-100. It’s my gift to you. Let’s not see anymore imageshack/photobucket around here ;)” he told the Reddit community in a post announcing Imgur.

Somewhat ironically given the genesis of Imgur, the company’s growth has outpaced that of Reddit. This September saw Imgur hit the 100 million user mark, while Reddit claims 85 million users each month. Imgur had a mere 30 million users at the beginning of 2012.

These numbers are attributed to The Atlantic’s Megan Barber who recently wrote a large expose of the 10 employee, San Francisco-based Imgur.

While Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and Tumblr CEO David Karp held out for “billions”, Schaaf needn’t follow suit (though he may) as he’s taken no venture capital money for Imgur.

Sale price?

According to Business Insider, this is one reason that Imgur won’t come to Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) on the cheap. Venture capital firms are drooling over Imgur. Additionally, it’s a tremendously social site, something that boosts the sale price, well, tremendously. Lastly, Imgur has revenue and users in place already. It will not simply be a situation where it is purchased for its talent.

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has, as of this writing, not commented on Business Insider’s piece.

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Brendan Byrne

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