Donna will soon be dead.
Yahoo has acquired Incredible Labs, the maker of personal assistant app Donna. Founder Kevin Cheng said that following the closing of the deal, Donna will be removed from the app store and discontinued as a service.
Donna helps people stay on top of their daily schedule. “She” reminds you about events and appointments and provides any relevant information you might need, such as weather, directions, estimated travel time, details about people you are meeting with, or dial-in information if its a phone call. If you are running late, Donna will automatically let the other parties know. She also learned your habits to get smarter over time, and more personalized.
Despite Donna’s many fine qualities, she will soon be-no-more. Yahoo is acquiring the team for its talent, not its technology.
The personal assistant game is tough — there are lots of apps out their jockeying to help you get through the day. The most famous is Apple’s Siri, but there is also Android app Sherpa, Osito, EasilyDo, Cue, 24me, Indigo, Google Now, and others. “Smart” calendar apps are also competitive, such as Tempo, Sunrise, Any.do, and Fantastical.
Four of the five team members will be joining Yahoo’s Communications department where they will work on Yahoo mail, according to a repot in TechCrunch.
Yahoo is an aggressive acquirer these days – it bought 31 companies in 2013 — and particularly active when it comes to acqui-hires.
The news about Donna comes one day after news about Yahoo’s acquisition of enterprise app studio Tomfoolery. Tomfoolery’s flagship app Anchor will also be shut down. Earlier this month, Yahoo announced the acquisition of Aviate, a startup that automatically organizes the apps on your home screen.
All three of these companies are mobile-focused, and underscores Yahoo’s continued dedication to mobile.
“Mobile has made our daily lives more consistent, convenient, and inspiring in ways didn’t think possible 10 years ago,” Mayer said about the Aviate acquisition. “Think about how much your phone understands about you — your contacts, calendar, emails and images — and what happens when that context becomes part of thee search experience. The future of search is contextual knowledge, and we are investing in the future.”
Despite the fact that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is gobbling up startups like they are candy, she has yet to turn the company around when it comes to revenue. In 2013, Mayer spiffed up many of its popular apps and cut product deadweight. Yahoo mobile users will soon eclipse desktop users in number.
However the end of 2013 was shaky when it comes to revenue -- it was down 6% year-over-year and income was down by 8 percent. Yahoo struggled for years before Mayer assumed the helm, and it will likely take a few more quarters before the financial effects of Mayer’s leadership begin to show.
Incredible Labs had raised $2.5 million from Khosla Ventures, Betaworks, Maynard Webb, CrunchFund, Ashton Kutcher, and other angels.
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