Yahoo Buys Snip.it, The Pinterest-Meets-News Startup, For $10 Million Plus Earnouts

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With Marissa Mayer at the helm, Yahoo is continuing to flex its M&A muscles, with a special focus on startups with smart teams that have made well-designed apps. The latest target: Snip.it, the San Francisco-based startup that created a web application for clipping news articles and arranging them in a visually compelling Pinterest-like format. The deal, which we understand to have been in the works for several weeks now, was first reported this morning by AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes and subsequently confirmed by both Yahoo and Snip.it this afternoon.

We’re hearing that the purchase price was $10 million, plus several million dollars worth of earnouts tied to team retention. All but one of Snip.it’s approximately 10 full-time staffers will be joining Yahoo, a source familiar with the deal says.

The Snip.it app has already been shut down, and users will have the option to download their data for a month from now, until February 21st. The Snip.it team will focus on the “social news” space in their new roles at Yahoo, the company said in a blog post announcing the sale.

The size of the deal, along with the immediately effective shut-down of the service, points to this being a standard “acqui-hire” situation. Snip.it, which first launched in October 2011, had attracted an impressive roster of investors including Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and SV Angel, but it seems that ultimately its service did not get as much standalone traction as may have been hoped.

That said, the Snip.it app was impressive to see in action, as we saw when we sat down with CEO Ramy Adeeb this past June for a segment on TechCrunch TV. It’s clear that Adeeb, a very sharp young executive with both technical and business chops, was almost certainly a big part of what attracted Yahoo to the company. It will be exciting to see what he comes up with next.

Here is our interview with Adeeb and his hands-on demo of Snip.it from this past summer:



Kim-Mai Cutler contributed reporting to this story.