Yahoo! Acquires Recommendation Startup Jybe, Will Apply Its Personalization Tech “Across Most Yahoo! Properties”

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Yahoo! has acquired Jybe, the company announced today via a post to its corporate blog. Jybe is a startup founded in 2011 by three ex-Yahoo! employees, including Arnab Bhattacharjee, who was VP of Yahoo! Search Technology when he departed the company. The startup’s mission was to help connect people to the physical world around them, a mission for which it released an iPhone app late last year to help connect people with recommendations about things to do, stuff to eat, books to read and movies to watch.

I spoke with Jybe co-founder Arnab Bhattacharjee about the move, and he said that it basically stemmed from a desire on the part of Yahoo! to get into personalized recommendations in a big way.

“Basically we’ve learned a lot about how to use search scale techniques, both on the data science side but also large-scale engineering, and apply it to signals to really do personalization well,” he said. “We really want to take those technologies and apply that across most of the Yahoo! properties.”

The standalone Jybe app will be closed down as part of the acquisition, which seems mostly to be about getting the five member team (all ex-Yahoo!) back in the Yahoo! fold, but Bhattacharjee said that “the technology will live on inside Yahoo! as one of the core pieces that is used to do personalization for various things.”

Finally, he said that personalized delivery of various sorts of media will be “very important” to Yahoo! in the future, which is in part why the Jybe team got so excited about the chance to rejoin the company. Bhattacharjee couldn’t share any information about deal size with TechCrunch, and a request for that information from Yahoo! was met with a statement that the company is “not disclosing the purchase price or other terms of the deal.”