Deals

Yahoo confirms $1.1B Tumblr acquisition, CEO Marissa Mayer promises ‘not to screw it up’

While rumors have been swirling for days, Yahoo finally confirmed this morning that it has acquired popular blogging service Tumblr for about $1.1 billion. Notably, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer promises Yahoo won’t ruin the Tumblr experience.

“We promise not to screw it up,” Mayer said in a blog post today. “Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same, as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo will help Tumblr get even better, faster.”

Tumblr is a huge platform for blogging and sharing content. The service hosts 105 million blogs, and 900 new posts go up per second. It has 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 signups each day.

The big weakness for Tumblr is actually making money. It only pulled in $13 million in revenue in 2012. But that’s where Yahoo can come in and help the company find more ways to make cash through advertising.

“The two companies will also work together to create advertising opportunities that are seamless and enhance user experience,” Mayer wrote.

Tumblr CEO Karp has previously been vocally resistent to advertising, but Yahoo plans to find ways for advertising to find its way into the platform. All signs point to Yahoo adding opt-in advertising so bloggers can enable ads and potentially get a slice of revenue for ads on said blogs.

Yahoo will pay approximately $1.1 billion for Tumblr — all in cash. Prior to today, New York City-based Tumblr had raised $125 million in funding from investors including Union Square Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, Insight Venture Partners, The Chernin Group, Spark Capital, and CrunchFund.

Karp describes the deal as “awesome” and insists that Tumblr won’t change much. “We’re not turning purple,” Karp wrote in a blog post. “Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing. And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn’t changing.”

Marissa Mayer photo via Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat