Yahoo is continuing their buying binge in a bid to strengthen its core online advertising offerings.
Fresh off their $240 million purchase of mobile analytics standout Flurry in late July, and 13 other companyies so far this year, Sunnyvale-based Yahoo bought interactive photo ad network Luminate Friday for an undisclosed sum and did what they sometimes do when buying a company.
They shut it down.
In a post on the Luminate homepage early Friday evening, chief executive and co-founder James Everingham said the startup’s more than 10,000 publishers and customers would have until Oct. 1 to access existing accounts and information before the plug was pulled.
The post stated:
If your site(s) have individually earned over $10, you will be receiving a final payment for each site by September 30, 2014. If you are a Luminate Direct advertiser, you will be refunded the remainder of your balance by September 30, 2014.”
Everingham is a former Netscape vet, having run that storied Valley’s browser development group. Other members of the Luminate team include Yahoo and LiveOps vets. Luminate has been tagged the “AdSense of mages,” and the startup built out a respectable interactive advertising photo platform which was used by over 10,000 publishers.
How much money Yahoo paid for the company has not been publicly released. Prior to the purchase, Luminate had raised a total of $29 million in funding, including some cash from Google Ventures. The startup came out with its “AdSense for images” feature earlier this year.
Analyst R. Ray Wang of Constellation Research said the deal makes sense for Yahoo, because, as he put it, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based giant is diligently building out its expanding advertising network. He said Google had been using similar technology like Luminate produces with excellent results.
“Luminate created an interesting model that was pay-per-performance-based. There’s three things at issue here. Image-text ads, full-display ads and product ads. Luminate are really good at this and have a high click-through rate. This really is a smart acquisition,” Wang said.
Wang said Yahoo’s buying binge will not end with the purchase of Luminate.
“There’s a lot more, really, and this is a big one,” he said.