Media

Yahoo buys iOS video app Qwiki (and surprisingly won’t kill it)

Screenshot of Qwiki

Above: Screenshot of Qwiki

Image Credit: Qwiki

It seems like Yahoo is buying up any startup it can these days. It now adds New York-based video app maker Qwiki to the pile in a deal reportedly worth up to $50 million.

Qwiki offers an iOS app that takes your videos and photos and automatically turns them into brief movies with music behind them that you can share on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks. (Much like competing app Magisto.) Before the company shifted focus to this app, it offered a rich multimedia presentation app for the iPad.

Yahoo has been purchasing startups left and right the past few months. Its most prominent of these acquisitions was of New York blogging powerhouse Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has promised to keep it independent from Yahoo to let it keep growing. And just yesterday, Yahoo announced the acquisition of one-man fantasy sports startup Bignoggins.

But it has also purchased a spate of smaller startups and shut most of those services down. In these cases, companies such as Stamped, OnTheAir, Snip.it, Alike, Summly, and Jybe have been purchased for their talent while the products are tossed aside.

Yahoo will not be doing that to Qwiki.

“We will continue to support the Qwiki app, and the team will join Yahoo in our New York City office to reimagine Yahoo’s storytelling experience,” the company said in a blog post today.

Even Navin Thukkaram, Qwiki’s COO, seems a little relieved Yahoo isn’t killing off Qwiki.

“I am especially encouraged that Yahoo will keep the product alive and hope to see Qwiki become a part of Yahoo’s mobile renaissance,” Thukkaram said in a statement.

Perhaps Qwiki has been spared because Mayer has promised to refocus much of Yahoo’s attention on mobile products. And Qwiki offers iOS users a way to create and share videos that are more advanced than what Vine and Instagram can offer.

Prior to today’s acquisition, Qwiki had raised about $10.5 million from investors including Eduardo Saverin, Greylock Partners, Lerer Ventures, and Lightbank.