Yahoo! to buy blogging service Tumblr for US$1.1bn – reports

20 May 2013

Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer

The board of Yahoo! has reportedly agreed a US$1.1bn all-cash deal to buy the six-year-old social blogging service Tumblr, according to US media reports.

Rumours about the Tumblr acquisition first surfaced last week.

According to The Wall Street Journal Yahoo!’s board has approved the all-cash deal to buy Tumblr. It said the deal could be announced as soon as today.

AllThingsD reported that Tumblr CEO David Karp will stay at Yahoo! for at least four years while also retaining “a lot of control” over the service.

If the acquisition is confirmed it will be Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s largest deal since she took the helm at Yahoo! last July. In March, Yahoo! acquired the news summarising app Summly for a rumoured US$30m, making its 17-year-old creator Nick D’Aloisio a tech millionaire.

The Tumblr move could see Yahoo! make big inroads into social media and provide new spectrum for online advertising.

The New York-based Tumblr was founded in 2007 by Karp and Marco Arment, who left in 2010 to focus on Instapaper. Tumblr employs 175 people and has more than 108m blogs. According to comScore figures, the site had nearly 117m unique users worldwide in March

Tumblr has so far raised US$125m in venture capital and is valued at around US$800m.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic